Reuters: Indexes set to open higher on Fed minutes, jobs data

U.S. indexes were set to open higher on Thursday, a day after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s October meeting hardened expectations of a December interest rate hike and hinted at a cautious approach from the central bank after that.

Data on Thursday appeared to support the Fed’s view of a strengthening labor market as the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week.

U.S. interest rates futures implied a 72 percent chance of a liftoff next month, up from 64 percent on Tuesday.

Risk appetite rose across the world after the minutes were released, sending stocks and commodities higher. Crude prices inched higher, while gold edged off near-six year lows.

“This week, the bulls are back in control of the market and we’ve almost recovered, if not on track to recover, all of last week’s losses and then some,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital.

At 8:36 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 28 points, or 0.16 percent, with 25,562 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 6 points, or 0.29 percent, with 171,293 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 15.75 points, or 0.34 percent, on volume of 25,566 contracts.

Best Buy’s shares (BBY.N) were down 8.9 percent to $28.54 in premarket trading, after its comparable sales for the quarter missed estimates.

Dow component UnitedHealth’s shares (UNH.N) were down 6 percent to $112.80 in premarket trading after the health insurer cut its full-year profit forecast. Peers Anthem (ANTM.N) and Aetna (AET.N) were down about 4 percent.

Pfizer (PFE.N) was down 1.5 percent after Reuters reported that the company’s talks to buy Allergan (AGN.N) and redomicile in Ireland had accelerated. Allergan was down 1.6 percent.

Salesforce (CRM.N) was up 5.4 percent at $81.49 after its quarterly adjusted profit beat estimates and the online sales software maker raised full-year revenue forecast.

Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR.O) jumped 18.5 percent to $48.05 after its quarterly results beat estimates.

In one of the most anticipated IPOs this year, mobile payments company Square (SQ.N) will start trading on Thursday.

Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart are slated to speak later in the day.

LINK: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/19/us-markets-stocks-idUSKCN0T81L720151119#oHX0ecWGxqWF4EWU.97

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