(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower opening on the Wall Street ahead of the Federal Reserve policy statement.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures dipped 28 points to 13,333. The Nasdaq futures shed 6.75 points to 2,789.50. Standard and Poor's 500 futures fell 3.10 points to 1,436.40.
The Federal Open Market Committee, the rate-setting committee of the Federal Reserve, is set to release its statement on monetary policy at 12:30 pm ET. Investors hope for announcement of new easing measures from the Fed to stimulate the economy.
On the domestic data front, the number of Americans who continued to receive jobless benefits rose more than forecast, a government data showed. Jobless claims increased 15,000 to 382,000 for the week ended Sept.8 from a revised 367,000, while economists projected 370,000 applications.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Labor Department said core producer price index in August rose 0.2 percent, matching economists expectations. The headline index also gained 1.7 percent, topping estimate of a rise of 1.1 percent. In July, producer prices and core producer prices rose 0.3 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.
On Wednesday, U.S. stocks closed on a modestly higher note amid optimism about further stimulus. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) unveiled iPhone 5, the thinnest and lightest smartphone ever as well as one of the most keenly awaited technolgy products of 2012. Shares ended 1.38 percent higher
Hot Stocks Of The Day: AMD, PLL, PIR, DSW, LRN
In corporate news, Pall Corp. (NYSE:PLL) jumped 7.87 percent in premarket after the company's quarterly results topped market expectations.
Pier 1 Imports Inc. (NYSE:PIR) reported a jump in quarterly earnings as higher store traffic and average ticket drove sales growth and the retailer of decorative home furnishings boosted its full-year forecast. Shares added 1.07 percent in premarket.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE:AMD) shares were downgraded to "Neutral" by Citigroup (C). Shares fell 1.80 percent in premarket.
DSW Inc. (NYSE:DSW) may be in focus after the footwear retailer declared a special dividend of $2.00 per share, totaling about $91 million.
K12 Inc. (NYSE:LRN) surged 10.06 percent in premarket after the online learning platform posted a quarterly profit amid 33 percent jump in revenue.
European markets traded mixed, with Germany's DAX down 0.30 percent to trade at 7,321.50. France's CAC40 dropped 0.83 percent to trade at 3,514.34. U.K.'s FTSE 100 inched up 0.06 percent to trade at 5,785.77.
Asian markets closed mixed, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index down 0.76 percent to finish at 2,110.38. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.39 percent to end at 8,995.15. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 0.14 percent to close at 20,047.63. India's BSE Sensex closed at 18,021.16, up 0.12 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures gained 0.47 percent to $97.47 per barrel. Gold futures advanced 0.20 percent to $1,737.2 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro rose 0.05 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2906 while the British pound edged 0.06 percent lower to 1.6099. The dollar declined 0.36 percent against the Japanese yen to 77.5700.