* Futures up: Dow 69 pts, S&P 6.25 pts, Nasdaq 17.25 pts
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
March 16 U.S. stock index futures rose on
Thursday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates for the
first time this year, but indicated it was in no hurry to
increase the pace of tightening.
* Drawing on continued strength in the labor market and
inflation trending just below its 2 percent target, the central
bank on Wednesday raised rates by a quarter point to 0.75-1.00
* Wall Street ended with solid gains on Wednesday after Fed
Chair Janet Yellen expressed confidence in the U.S. economy and
said high stock prices were a signal of easier financial
* The Fed, however, stuck to its outlook for two more rate
hikes this year and three more in 2018. Shares of big U.S.
banks, which slipped on the Fed's dovish stance on Wednesday,
were up between 0.5 and 1.5 percent in premarket trading.
* Donald Trump's election as U.S. President in November set
Wall Street on a record-setting rally on hopes that he would
boost the economy through fiscal stimulus, simpler regulations
and tax reforms.
* Gold hit a one-week high, while the dollar, which had
risen on expectations of a more hawkish Fed, hit a one-month
* Oil prices rose about 1 percent, supported by a weaker
dollar and data that showed U.S. inventories had dipped after
rising for nine weeks.
* Investors will turn their attention to economic data,
while looking for more clarity on Trump's proposed policies.
* A Commerce Department report is expected to show housing
starts edged up to 1.26 million-unit rate in February from 1.25
million units the previous month. The report is due at 8:30 a.m.
ET (1230 GMT).
* Also due is a Labor Department report, which is likely to
show the number of Americans who applied for unemployment
benefits fell by 3,000 to 240,000 last week.
* Shares of Tesla rose 2.3 percent to $261.58 after
the electric carmaker said it would raise about $1.15 billion as
the company speeds up the launch of its Model 3 sedan.
* Biogen slipped 2.2 percent to $286 after Morgan
Stanley and Leerink downgraded the drugmaker's stock and cut
* Dollar General rose 5 percent to $76.50 after the
discount retailer reported a 13.7 percent jump in quarterly
Futures snapshot at 6:55 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were up 69 points, or 0.33 percent,
with 5,550 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.25 points, or 0.26
percent, with 38,597 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 17.25 points, or 0.32
percent, on volume of 4,600 contracts.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by