US pre-open: Dow Jones futures trade higher following FOMC minutes

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Wall Street futures were in the green ahead of the bell on Thursday as investors continued to digest minutes from the FOMC’s latest meeting and a disheartening update from chipmaker Nvidia.

As of 1230 BST, Dow Jones futures were up 0.45%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.42% and 0.20% firmer, respectively.

The Dow closed 191.66 points higher on Wednesday extending gains recorded in the previous session as market participants digested minutes from the Federal Reserve’s most recent policy meeting, which suggested the central bank was prepared to be flexible with interest rate hikes.

The latest Fed meeting was still in focus ahead of the bell on Thursday, with the minutes revealing policymakers were supportive of 50-basis point rises as it moves its interest rate target “expeditiously towards neutral”.

Most officials on the Federal Open Market Committee agreed that half-point increases would “likely be appropriate at the next couple of meetings” and added that “a number of participants” believed inflationary pressures “may no longer be worsening”. Although they added it was too soon to be sure.

Moving on to corporate news, shares in chipmaker Nvidia slipped in pre-market trading after issuing weaker-than-expected second-quarter guidance, while shares in software firm Snowflake also crashed after the group’s guidance for operating margins came in narrower than originally expected.

In terms of earnings, Burlington Stores, Jack in the Box, Dollar General, and Macy’s will publish earnings before the open, while Costco and Gap will report during the session and Dell Technologies and VMWare will update on recent trading after the close.

On the macro front, a second estimate of second-quarter gross domestic product growth will be published at 1330 BST, as will the weekly jobless claims report from the Department of Labor, while April pending home sales figures will follow at 1500 BST.

Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com