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Futures Edge Higher Ahead of Fed Minutes

CNBC.com and Reuters
Wednesday, 11 Jul 2012 | 8:36 AM ET

U.S. stock index futures rose Wednesday, after stocks fell for four-consecutive sessions, as investors looked ahead to the minutes of the latest Fed meeting to find out how close the central bank was to delivering a third round of quantitative easing in addition to extending Operation Twist through to the end of 2012.

Investors will look to the minutes of the most recent Fed meeting, scheduled to be released at 2pm ET, for reasons behind the central bank's decision to extend its Operation Twist program and insight on what may be needed to trigger a third round of monetary stimulus.

On the economic front, U.S. trade deficit narrowed 3.8 percent to $48.7 billion in May, according to the Commerce Department, in line with expectation.

Wholesale inventories for May are out at 10:00 a.m ET, with economists surveyed by Reuters expecting a gain of 0.4 percent following April’s 0.6 percent increase.

In corporate news Goldcorp cut its full-year guidance for production levels, citing reduced output at mines in Ontario and in Mexico. The company joins a long list of others that have lowered their guidance in the last week.

The search for Yahoo's new CEO continues as the Internet company's board members. Interim CEO Ross Levinsohn is said to be the leading candidate for the permanent job.

Spain's Austerity Won't Affect Markets: Pro
Joe Weisenthal, the deputy editor of Business Insider, commented for CNBC on the announcement of Spain's tax hikes: "In theory, Spain taking these austerity measures is what the markets want to see, but in practice it seems that every time a country has done anything like this they're digging their hole deeper."

American Airlines parent AMR is moving ahead with assessing potential merger partnersand plans to reach out to interested parties including U.S. Airways , JetBlue, AlaskaAir, RepublicAirways’ Frontier unit, and VirginAmerica.

Marriott is scheduled to post earnings after the closing bell.

Also on the economic front, weekly mortgage applications slipped last week due to a drop in refinancing activity even as interest rates hit record lows, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

European shares were under pressureafter the IMF warned that Italy must break its debt spiral and reaffirmed its forecast that the Italian economy would shrink by 1.9 percent this year.

Prime Minister Mario Monti also said his country could be interested in tapping the euro zone's rescue fund for bond support Spain unveiled a package of measures to reduce its fiscal deficit as it battles to cut borrowing costs on Wednesday morning.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he would raise value-added taxby 3 percentage points to 21 percent and planned a new tax scheme for the energy sector as part of the package to trim the deficit by 65 billion euros ($80 billion) over the next 2-1/2 years.

Spanish 10-year bonds were down around 0.25 of a percentage point to 6.8 percent after the announcement following steady falls this week after Madrid reached agreement with its euro zone partners to relax its deficit deadline.

—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)

Coming Up This Week:

WEDNESDAY: Wholesale trade, oil inventories, 10-yr note auction, FOMC minutes; Earnings from Marriott, Chevron interim results
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, import & export prices, Fed Pres Williams speaks, 30-yr bond auction, Treasury budget, Facebook hearing; Earnings from Fastenal
FRIDAY: PPI, consumer sentiment, Fed pres Lockhart speaks, Dell shareholders mtg; Earnings from JPMorgan, Wells Fargo

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