U.S. Futures Point to a Slightly Higher Open

StocksDow Jones Newswires

U.S. stock futures point to a slightly higher open, as investors were looking ahead to testimony from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen before the Congressional Joint Economic Committee later.

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It will be her first testimony since the U.S. presidential election last Tuesday, which was won by Republican Donald Trump.

"Through Yellen's testimony, the global markets will a take a chance to readjust their Fed forecasts, to calibrate their U.S. rate hike expectations and to position themselves to the new era under the Republican lead," said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior market analyst at London Capital Group, in a note

The market is pricing in the chance of a December Fed rate hike at up to 94%, Ozkardeskaya said.

"What is more important is the steepness of the Fed's policy. How many rate hikes should be expected in 2017? As of today, two to four rate hikes would be reasonable, depending on how many of Trump's promises will go through the line," she added.

Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said Wednesday that he isn't yet ready to say what to do with interest rates given the significant shift in the political climate.

When it comes to boosting the cost of borrowing next month, "it's too early to assess that until there's some clarity to what the [new] policies will be" under the Republican-controlled Congress and a Donald Trump presidency, he said.

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