S&P 500 Futures Little Changed Before Fed Minutes; Airgas Rises

U.S. stock-index futures were little changed as investors await the latest Federal Reserve signals about the timing of a first rise in interest rates since 2006.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index contracts expiring in December lost 0.2 percent to 2,045 at 10:44 a.m. in London. After posting a 1.5 percent rally Monday, stocks yesterday closed little changed as falling energy shares offset positive earnings from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 30 points, or 0.2 percent, to 17,426 today.

Airgas Inc. rose 1.2 percent in early New York trading after Air Liquide SA bought the company for $ 10.3 billion. Newmont Mining Corp. rose 2.4 percent after the company met Indonesian export requirements.

The Fed will release minutes from its most recent meeting later today as investors look for further suggestions that interest-rate rises will begin next month. Traders are currently pricing in a 66 percent probability of a move — odds that shot up after much-stronger-than-expected October employment data. Among other notable economic data today is a report that’s expected to show a slowdown in housing starts versus the previous month.

Source : Bloomberg