MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stock Futures In Holding Pattern As Traders Wait For Yellen

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Oil companies rise premarket as crude jumps nearly 2%

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U.S. stock futures were trading in right ranges on Wednesday, with investors erring on the side of caution ahead of what will be closely watched testimony by Janet Yellen, and as they digested the latest political drama rocking Capitol Hill.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 8 points, or less than 0.1%, to 21,375, while those for the S&P 500 added 0.75 point, also less than 0.1%, to 2,425.25. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index climbed 0.75 point, almost flat at 5,720.75.

The muted moves come after a similarly indecisive close on Tuesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-struggle-for-direction-2017-07-11), when the Dow average ended up less than a point, the S&P 500 fell 1.90 points and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.3%.

Earlier Tuesday, stocks logged firm losses after Donald Trump Jr. released a series of email exchanges about a June 2016 meeting to discuss potential incriminating information against Hillary Clinton as part of an alleged Russian push to support his father's presidency.

Read:Opinion: Trump Jr. emails should be 'game over' for this White House (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-jr-emails-should-be-game-over-for-this-white-house-2017-07-12)

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The political tensions drove the dollar lower on Tuesday, and the greenback continued to fall against most major currencies on Wednesday. The dollar bought 113.42 Japanese yen , down from Yen113.94 in late Tuesday trade.

Yellen testimony: The dollar could also move later in Wednesday's session, when Federal Reserve Chairwoman Yellen begins two days of her semiannual testimony before Congress at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

"Will Mrs. Yellen choose to reinforce the recent more hawkish global central bank speak or will she attempt to pull things back a little?," said Jim Reid, credit strategist at Deutsche Bank in a note.

"[Deutsche Bank] expect her to reinforce the message from the June 14 post-FOMC press conference and continue to guide the market towards an announcement of the beginning of balance sheet normalization at the September 20 meeting as well as a rate hike by year-end," he added.

In other Fed-related news on Wednesday, the Beige Book comes out at 2 p.m., followed by Kansas City Fed President Esther George giving a speech in Denver at 2:15 p.m. Eastern on the economic outlook and the Fed's balance sheet.

See:MarketWatch's economic calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

Stock movers: Shares of Apple Inc.(AAPL) could be active after Fast Company reported that the tech giant is working around the clock to fix software bugs in its new flagship iPhone (https://www.fastcompany.com/40439915/a-sense-of-panic-at-apple-as-the-next-flagship-iphones-software-problems-persist).

Snap Inc.(SNAP) was also in focus after the social media company's stock tanked 9% on Tuesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/snap-downgraded-to-equal-weight-by-one-of-its-lead-underwriters-2017-07-11), falling further below its IPO price.

Energy companies advanced in premarket action, tracking a nearly 2% jump in oil prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-extends-gains-after-upbeat-us-production-data-2017-07-12) . Shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp.(CHK) put on 2.8%, Exxon Mobil Corp.(XOM) added 0.9% and Chevron Corp.(CVX) gained 0.4%.

Other markets: Asian stocks closed mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-market-gains-take-a-timeout-as-currencies-rise-2017-07-11), while Europe staged solid gains across the board (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-rise-lifted-by-oil-firms-and-burberry-2017-07-12).

Gold rose 0.3% to $1.218.20 an ounce and all other key metals were also on the rise.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 12, 2017 05:48 ET (09:48 GMT)