Futures Zip Higher; Fed Meeting Looms Large


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U.S. stock-index futures rallied on Monday after last week's slump as traders positioned their portfolios ahead of Wednesday's Federal Reserve decision.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:34 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures jumped 110 points to 15098, S&P 500 futures rallied 12.8 points to 1631 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 26.8 points to 2964.

The S&P 500 shed 1% last week in volatile trading as market participants obsessed over the Federal Reserve's strategy to exit its vast bond-buying program. Expectations that the world's most powerful central bank could begin slowing asset purchases in coming months have roiled fixed income markets in a move that has ricocheted into equities.

The Fed is expected to stay in the spotlight this week, with the central bank kicking off a two-day meeting concluding on Wednesday.

"I expect next to no change in the FOMC statement," said Michael Block, chief strategist at Rhino Trading Partners. "In the press conference, (Fed Chairman Ben) Bernanke will play up how tapering purchases down the road is not the same as raising rates, which is so far down the road that investors should not worry about it."

Block pinned the move higher on Monday to investors preparing for the meeting on Wednesday, along with a calming in fixed income and currency markets.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury bond fell 0.02-percentage point to 2.115% as traders bid up the asset. Elsewhere, U.S. oil prices continued moving toward the $100 a barrel mark as tension heated up in Syria. The benchmark contract recently climbed 41 cents, or 0.42%, to $98.25 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline was flat at $2.897 a gallon. In metals, gold fell $4, or 0.29%, to $1,384 a troy once.

The economic calendar is fairly light on the day. The New York Fed's regional manufacturing gauge surged to 7.8 in June from -1.4 the month prior, easily exceeding expectations of 0. Reading above 0 point to expansion for the Empire State factory sector, while those below indicate contraction.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 jumped 1.5% to 2706, the English FTSE 100 advanced 0.75% to 6355 and the German DAX rallied 1.2% to 8228.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 surged 2.7% to 13033 and the Chinese Hang Seng zoomed 1.2% to 21226.

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