Futures Stay Positive as ECB Holds Steady
U.S. stock index futures lost some of their earlier gains but remained positive after the European Central Bank left rates unchanged despite recession fears.
The ECB held its key interest rate unchangedat 1 percent, which was largely expected. The central bank also extended some of its liquidity providing operations to help financial markets cope with the effects of the euro zone's debt crisis but stopped short of announcing any big measures.
Meanwhile, ECB President Mario Draghi pledged the central bank will act firmly and in a timely manner on inflation but added that inflation expectations for the euro area "continue to be firmly anchored" and "underlying price pressures continue to be subdued."
Draghi also gave the ECB's latest economic forecasts, saying the ECB expected inflation to stay above 2 percent for this year and to come to between 1 percent and 2 percent next year. European shares pared their gainsfollowing his comments.
Back in the U.S., investors will be looking ahead to the Fed’s April edition of the Beige Book at 2pm ET, for a region-by-region assessment of the U.S. economy.
U.S. productivity fell more than expected at a 0.9 percent annual rate in the first quarter, according to the Labor Department. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected productivity to decline at a 0.7 percent rate.
Facebook edged higher in pre-market trading after JMP Securities started coverage of the social-networking giant with a "market outperform" rating and a $37 price target. The company closed below $26 a share in the previous session.
Tempur-Pedic plunged almost 40 percent after the mattress maker slashed its full-year earnings and revenue outlook due to increasing competition in North America. This comes after smaller rival Mattress Firm missed revenue expectations on Tuesday and handed in weak quarterly revenue estimates.
Crude oil inventories for last week will be released by the Energy Department at 10:30 a.m. Inventories rose by 2.213 million in the prior week. Also out at 10:30 a.m. is the U.S. Information Administration’s weekly petroleum status report.
The Mortgage Bankers Associationsaid demand for home loans rose 1.3 percent last week due primarily to refinance applications. Home purchase loan requests fell 1.8 percent.
—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
Coming Up This Week:
WEDNESDAY: Oil inventories, Fed's Beige Book, Fed's Lockhart speaks, Fed's Lockhart speaks, Fed Basel III vote
THURSDAY: Bank of England announcement, jobless claims, Bernanke speaks, quarterly services survey, Fed's Lockhart speaks, Fed's Kocherlakota speaks, consumer credit; Earnings from Lululemon Athletica, JM Smucker
FRIDAY: International trade, wholesale trade, Fed's Kocherlakota speaks, Chesapeake annual meeting
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