U.S stock index futures remained in the red Thursday, a day after the Dow and S&P 500 hit multi-year intraday highs, following some tepid economic reports and as investors looked ahead to the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting.
On the economic front, jobless claims climbed 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 382,000, hitting the highest in two months, according to the Labor Department. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 370,000 last week.
The producer price index jumped 1.7 percent in August, rising by the most in three years, as energy cost soared, according to the Labor Department. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected an increase of 1.1 percent. Wholesale prices excluding food and energy costs rose 0.2 percent, matching estimates.
The Fed will announce its decision at the end of its two-day policy meeting at 12:30 p.m. ET. Investors are eager to learn if Fed Chief Ben Bernanke will launch another round of quantitative easing on the heels of recent weak data. Bernanke will hold a press conference at 2:15 p.m.
Apple edged higher after the tech giant unveiled its new iPhone 5 and some new iPods. At least two brokerages boosted their price targets on the company.