Stock Futures Fall After Fed-Fueled Leap


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U.S. stock-index futures edged lower on Thursday as traders took a breather after a powerful, Fed-fueled rally in the last session.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:00 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 16 points, or 0.1%, to 16093, S&P 500 futures dipped 2.5 points, or 0.12%, to 1803 and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 9 points, or 0.26%, to 3500.

The Federal Reserve finally unveiled its plans to pare back its vast bond-buying program. The central bank, however, softened the $10 billion-a-month tapering by tinkering its so-called forward guidance for interest rates. Wall Street cheered the move, sending the broad S&P 500 surging more than 1% in its biggest jump since October 10.

The view across world trading desks was that although the move was surprising, it signaled the Fed will continue with with its dovish policies for a long time to come.

The economic calendar is full on the day, with several key data points due to be released.

At 8:30 a.m. ET, traders will get a reading on weekly jobless claims from the Labor Department. Economists expect the number of Americans filing for first-time jobless benefits having fallen to  334,000 from 368,000 the week before.

Later, at 10:00 a.m., the National Association of Realtors will reveal is most recent reading on existing home sales. Wall Street is forecasting sales of previously-owned, single-family homes to have fallen to an annual rate of 5.03 million in November from 5.12 million the month before. New housing starts data released Wednesday widely beat expectations. At the same time, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve will provide a reading on factory activity in the U.S. mid-Atlantic region.

In corporate news, Facebook (NYSE:FB) shares came under heavy pressure after its revealed a 70-million-share follow-on offering in which CEO Mark Zuckerberg will sell close to 41 million shares. Target (NYSE:TGT) said up to 40 million credit and debit card numbers may have been compromised as part of a massive data breach. Darden Group (NYSE:DRI) said it plans on spinning off its Red Lobster business.

Elsewhere, U.S. crude oil futures rose 7 cents, or 0.07%, to $97.87 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline ticked up by 0.54% to $2.712 a troy ounce.