Friday, September 14, 2012

US futures dip ahead of Fed decision

NEW YORK (AP) ? Stock futures slid ahead of a Fed decision Thursday over the best course of action to revive the economy, with many believing that there may be too much optimism about bold action from policy makers.

The Federal Reserve will come to a decision just after noon, and Chairman Ben Bernanke is expected to speak at 2:15 p.m. Eastern.

Dow Jones industrial futures fell 21 points to 13,340. The broader S&P futures gave up 2.7 points to 1,436.80. Nasdaq futures slipped 7 points to 2,789.

Futures have been rising throughout the week and on Thursday it appeared that many investors believed that any decisive action from the Fed, such as third round of bond purchases, has already been priced in.

There are also some jitters over events in the Middle East. Protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Yemen's capital Thursday and there is violence around the U.S. mission in Cairo.

The attacks come a day after the U.S. announced the death of its ambassador to Libya, where the American compound was overrun. The protests were sparked by an amateurish video produced in the U.S. called "Innocence of Muslims," which mocks Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

The attacks have pushed crude prices higher. Oil was trading above $97 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The Labor Department also reported Wednesday that unemployment claims rose 15,000 to 382,000, pushed up by Tropical Storm Isaac. And a sharp rise in gasoline costs, due to the hurricane and refinery issues, drove up wholesale prices last month at a faster rate than has been seen in more than three years.

Removing energy and food costs, however, the increase in prices has been mild.

The Labor Department reported that the producer price index, which measures price changes before they reach the consumer, jumped 1.7 percent in August. Excluding the volatile food and gas categories, core wholesale prices rose only 0.2 percent, below July's increase.


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