Wall Street Set to Post Weekly Loss Amid Tapering Worries


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U.S. stock-index futures were in the green on Friday, but Wall Street was still set to take a loss for the week amid concerns about when the Fed will begin paring its bond purchases.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:43 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 5 points, or 0.04%, to 15688, S&P 500 futures advanced 2.8 points, or 0.16%, to 1771 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 8.3 points, or 0.26%, to 3464.

The Dow and broader S&P 500 have fallen close to 2% this week. The losses have been driven by concerns that increasingly strong economic data, along with a deal in Congress to avert another government shutdown, could push the Federal Reserve to begin tapering its $85-billion-a-month asset purchase program.

"It's still a close call, but chances are now above 50% that the Federal Reserve will modestly reduce its asset purchases later this month," former Fed Vice Chairman Don Kohn told PRG Group, a Washington, D.C.-based political consultancy.

Previously, nearly every Wall Street investment bank predicted lower odds for December taper, instead preferring the March meeting for the beginning of the end to QE3.

The economic docket is light on the day. The Labor Department said wholesale inflation fell 0.1% in November while economists expected it to remain unchanged from the month prior. Excluding the food and energy sector, producer prices rose 0.1%, matching expectations.

In corporate news, Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) promoted Steve Mollenkopf to CEO, effective March 4, throwing cold water on reports Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) was considering him for the top spot. Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) revealed a mixed outlook and quarterly results, but growth in its Creative Cloud impressed Wall Street, driving the software maker's shares sharply higher.

Elsewhere, in commodities, U.S. crude oil futures fell 53 cents, or 0.54%, to $96.97 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.04% to $2.636 a gallon. Gold gained $2.30, or 0.04%, to $1,227 a troy ounce.

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