MARKET SNAPSHOT: Dow Heads For 4-day Win Streak Ahead Of Fed Minutes

By Sara Sjolin, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Urban Outfitters soars in premarket trade

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Wall Street was set for a positive open on Wednesday, but with traders taking a cautious approach ahead of the latest Federal Reserve minutes that indicate if more rate increases are coming this year.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 47 points, or 0.2%, to 22,024, while those for the S&P 500 index gained 5.30 points, or 0.2%, at 2,469.25. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index traded 14 points, or 0.2%, higher at 5,926.

"The geopolitical tensions have begun to subside and with an upside surprise in U.S. data yesterday there has been a more positive sentiment coming through the markets. A mild consolidation greets traders this morning ahead of the FOMC minutes, but the glass seems to be one that is half full," said Richard Perry, market analyst at Hantec Markets, in a note.

U.S. stocks closed mixed on Tuesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-eye-opening-gains-as-north-korea-pulls-back-on-guam-threat-2017-08-15), with the Dow average ending slightly higher for a third straight session, but the S&P 500 index and Nasdaq Composite Index finishing with small losses. The mixed session came after retail sales beat forecasts and as tensions between the U.S. and North Korea eased after Kim Jong Un decided not to launch a threatened missile attack on Guam.

Fed minutes in focus: On Wednesday, the main event is the release of minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's July meeting due at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.

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"Today's Fed minutes may offer clues on the start of shrinking the $4.5 trillion asset portfolio. This should gradually send the longer end of the yield curve higher, but given that the news is already priced in, the impact on the dollar will be limited. I think the outlook on inflation will be the key thing to watch," said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM, in a note.

The ICE Dollar Index on Wednesday morning was slightly higher at 93.995 (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-steady-ahead-of-fed-minutes-pound-firms-after-jobless-data-2017-08-16).

Analysts also said the minutes will be scrutinized for any indications if the central bank will raise interest rates again later this year. Traders on the federal-funds futures market have this week ramped up their bets for one more rate hike this year to above 50% (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/traders-lift-bets-on-one-more-rate-hike-this-year-up-above-50-2017-08-15), compared with 37.4% on Friday according to CME Group data.

The shift in sentiment comes after better-than-expected data and Fed President Dudley's comments on Monday suggesting he would not rule out a rate hike for this year.

Also on Wednesday, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans will sit down with reporters, including MarketWatch, to talk about the economy and monetary policy at 1 p.m. Eastern.

In other economic news, housing starts and building permits for July are due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern.

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

Stock movers: Shares of Urban Outfitters Inc.(URBN) soared 22% premarket after the retailer late Tuesday reported earnings that easily beat estimates (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/urban-outfitters-shares-rally-after-sales-earnings-beat-2017-08-15).

Agilent Technologies Inc.(A) also reported profit above forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/agilent-shares-rise-more-than-4-after-company-reports-sales-eps-above-forecast-2017-08-15), sending shares 3.7% higher before the open.

Target Corp. (TGT) shares were 4% higher ahead of the bell after the retailer said quarterly earnings rose.

In other earnings on Wednesday, Cisco Systems Inc.(CSCO) and NetApp Inc. (NTAP) are expected to report after the market closes.

Other markets:Asian markets closed mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-take-a-breather-after-early-week-rebound-2017-08-15), while European stocks headed higher for a third straight day (http://www.marketwatch.com/topics/columns/europe-markets).

The euro fell to $1.1725 from $1.1736 late Tuesday in New York, after Reuters reported that European Central Bank President Mario Draghi won't deliver a fresh policy message at the Fed's Jackson Hole conference next week. Markets had started to expect the ECB boss would use the opportunity to take a more hawkish stance toward monetary policy.

Oil prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-rise-on-hopes-for-another-big-drop-in-us-inventories-2017-08-16) rose after the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday said U.S. inventories fell 9.2 million barrels last week. Gold fell, while most other metals advanced.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

August 16, 2017 07:13 ET (11:13 GMT)