By Yashaswini Swamynathan
(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Wednesday, a day after the post-election rally powered the Dow past the 19,000 mark as investors bet that the next U.S. government’s policies would be more market friendly.
Investors are also waiting for the Federal Reserve to release the minutes of its November meeting that is likely to reinforce a plan to raise interest rates next month. Traders have priced in an 87 percent chance of a hike on Dec. 14, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Analysts say President-elect Donald Trump’s planned policies would boost inflation, helping the Fed move closer to raising interest rates.
Investors will also get a glimpse of U.S. economic health from a raft of data, including reports expected to show a jump in orders for durable goods in October and a slight rise in jobless claims last week. The reports are due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT).
Wall Street inched up enough on Tuesday to push its three main indexes to intraday highs and also close at record levels for the second straight day as Trump’s win prompted investors to pump money into the market.
However, trading volumes were below their 20-day average and are likely to remain subdued ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday and an early market close on Black Friday.
Healthcare and financial stocks have especially benefited on hopes that Trump would simplify regulations in these industries. The promise of higher spending on infrastructure and defense have made industrials stocks more attractive.
Shares of Eli Lilly <LLY.N> plunged 14.8 percent premarket after the company said it would stop developing its Alzheimer’s drug following a trial failure.
Other companies developing Alzheimer’s drugs also fell. Biogen <BBIB.O> dropped 10 percent, while Axovant <AXON.N> tumbled 17.3 percent.
Urban Outfitter <URBN.O> sank 10.6 percent to $34.87 after the apparel maker’s comparable sales missed analysts’ estimates.
Deere <DE.N> soared 10.9 percent to $102 after the farm equipment maker’s quarterly sales handily beat expectations.
Futures snapshot at 6:59 a.m. ET:
Dow e-minis <1YMc1> were down 6 points, or 0.03 percent, with 18,627 contracts changing hands.
S&P 500 e-minis <ESc1> were down 1.25 points, or 0.06 percent, with 81,722 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis <NQc1> were down 4.5 points, or 0.09 percent, on volume of 10,035 contracts.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)