Stock futures are mostly lower Thursday as investors digest the latest Federal Reserve policy announcement.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were mostly lower Thursday as investors digested the latest Federal Reserve policy announcement and awaited a number of domestic economic releases.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 1 point, or 12.45 points below fair value, at 13,229. Futures for the S&P 500were down 1.70 points, or 2.18 points below fair value, at 1425. Futures for the Nasdaq were flat, or 4.02 points below fair value, at 2670.
Major U.S. stock averages reversed gains in the final hour of trading on Wednesday as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke answered reporters' questions.
The drop came despite an earlier spike in the major indices after the central bank fulfilled the wishes of the markets for a fresh round of stimulus.
"Monetary policy will remain as much as science and the benchmarks outlined Wednesday are not binding constraints on policy," said Eric Green, global head of research for rates and foreign exchange at TD Securities. "There are three stages to this policy regime....First, accommodation....Second....let it run....Third....begin to tighten. We are in the first stage, and will get into the second stage in 2014 and we expect the Fed will remain accommodative long after the economy has gained traction.'"
Stage three, said Green, still looks set to be the second half of 2015.
On the U.S. "fiscal cliff" front, tensions are once again rising as Republicans criticize President Barack Obama's most recent budget plans as unbalanced and said they concentrate too heavily on tax increases on wealthy Americans and not enough on spending reductions.
A spate of U.S. economic releases occur at 8:30 a.m. EST Thursday.
The Labor Department is anticipated by economists to report that initial jobless claims for the week ended Dec. 8 remained at 370,000 and that continuing claims for the week ended Dec. 1 rose to 3.21 million from 3.205 million.
The Census Bureau is predicted to say that retail sales increased 0.5% in November after falling 0.3% in October.. Excluding the auto components, sales remained flat last month, like in October.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is expected to say that producer prices fell 0.5% in November after declining 0.2% in October and that the core data rose 0.2% after being down 0.2%.
At 10 a.m., the Census Bureau is anticipated to say that total business inventories rose 0.4% in October after increasing 0.7% in September.
The FTSE 100 in London was down 0.13% and the DAX in Germany was behind by 0.4% as the European markets assessed the latest comments from the Fed.
On Thursday, European Union finance ministers reached a banking union agreement.
Japan's Nikkei average finished ahead by 1.68% on Thursday thanks to a sharp decline in the yen currency. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index settled off by 0.26% as "fiscal cliff" uncertainties were offset by the persistent outperformance of Hong Kong-listed Chinese shares driven by foreign investment interest.
Gold for February delivery was plunging $21.20 at $1,696.70 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while January crude oil contracts were shedding 40 cents at $86.37 a barrel.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury was rising 3/32, diluting the yield up to 1.693%. The dollar was up 0.18%, according to the U.S. dollar index.
In corporate news, Google's (:GOOG) Maps app is again available on Apple's (:AAPL) iPhone.
Google's online mapping system returned late Wednesday, nearly three months after Apple replaced Google Maps with its own navigation tool but with disastrous results.
Apple's Maps software proved far interior to Google's and its shoddiness prompted an apology from Apple CEO Tim Cook.
Adobe Systems (:ADBE), the maker of Photoshop and other software for digital artists, is expected by analysts Thursday to post fourth-quarter earnings of 57 cents, down from 67 cents a share a year earlier.
Network specialist Ciena(:CIEN) is expected by analysts Thursday to post a fourth-quarter loss of 6 cents a share on revenue of $468.3 million.
Knight Capital Group (:KCG) expects to make a decision on its future ownership by early next week, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Rival trading firms Getco and Virtu Financial, which both have submitted bids to buy the market-maker, are fine-tuning their takeover proposals for Knight, the Journal said. Final offers are expected to be handed to Knight 's board and investors by the end of this week, the people told the newspaper.
Homebuilder Hovnanian Enterprises (:HOV) is seen posting a fiscal fourth-quarter loss of 6 cents a share on revenue of $462 million.
-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.
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