Stocks – U.S. Futures Take Post-Fed Pause, Data in Focus

© Reuters.  Wall Street futures point to flat open as investors regroup after Fed© Reuters. Wall Street futures point to flat open as investors regroup after Fed

Investing.com – Wall Street futures pointed to flat to lower open on Thursday as investors took a pause after the hit another record high a day earlier and investors looked ahead to data for signs of the continued strength of the U.S. labor market and economy.

The blue-chip slipped 6 points, or 0.03% by 7:07AM ET (11:0GMT), the dropped 1 point, or 0.05%, while the tech-heavy edged forward 3 points, or 0.05%.

The Federal Reserve offered , forging ahead with its well-flagged plan to reduce its balance sheet and confirming that it still expected to raise interest rates this year, despite the fact that Fed chair Janet Yellen admitted that she found the persistent low levels of inflation to be a mystery.

The allowed both the Dow and the to finish in higher territory, though bulls looked set to take a pause on Thursday.

In that backdrop, investors looked ahead to and the , both out at 8:30AM ET (12:30GMT), as they look for signs of continued strength in the labor market and the manufacturing sector in the Philly region.

On the company front, Alphabet’s (NASDAQ:) for the division at Taiwan’s HTC that develops the U.S. firm’s Pixel smartphones as the Internet giant looks to up the game on its Android platform.

Tesla (NASDAQ:) was also in headlines on a report that Elon Musk’s firm was (NASDAQ:) to develop its own artificial intelligence chip for self-driving cars.

Meanwhile, as investors cashed in on gains that had taken crude more than 1% higher this week.

Investors looked ahead to a meeting of oil producers that could extend production limits aimed at clearing a glut that has depressed the market for more than three years.

Ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers meet in Vienna on Friday and are due to consider extending output cuts that began in January, although some energy ministers have suggested than decision before next March could be premature.

fell 0.91% to $ 50.23 by 7:09AM ET (11:09GMT), while lost 0.73% to $ 55.88.

Elsewhere, as the region’s banks celebrated higher interest rates that should support profits. At 6:05AM ET (10:05GMT), the European benchmark gained 0.54%, while Germany’s rose 0.31%. However, London’s fell 0.24% as miners put pressure on the British index.

Earlier, Asian equity markets closed with mixed signs as the investors digested the news out of the U.S. Japan’s ended with gains of 0.2%, though China’s closed around 0.2% lower.

In Asian news, the Bank of Japan held steady as expected after the conclusion of its two-day meeting on Thursday, with no change to rates or the asset buying program focused on the yield curve at ¥80 trillion annually.

Also out Thursday, amid concerns that credit is growing too quickly in the world’s second-largest economy.

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