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U.S. futures edge higher
Feb 24 2021 6:26PM
U.S. stocks are seen edging higher at the open Wednesday, continuing the sharp comeback from the lows of the previous session after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell assured investors that the central bank would continue to support the economy for time to come.

At 7:05 AM ET (1205 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 25 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 Futures traded 5 points, or 0.1%, higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 23 points, or 0.2%. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed Tuesday 15 points, or 0.1% higher, after wiping out an earlier 360-point loss. The S&P 500 also reversed a 1.8% loss to end the day just higher, while the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.5%, after dropping as much as 3.9% earlier. 

The prime driver for this reversal, and Wednesday’s early gains, was Fed chief Jerome Powell, who eased concerns of an early policy shift by the central bank by stating that inflation was not an issue of concern and the economic outlook was highly uncertain.

The economy is a long way from our employment and inflation goals, and it is likely to take some time for substantial further progress to be achieved,” Powell said, in the text of his testimony delivered Tuesday to the Senate Banking Committee.

Powell heads to Capitol Hill again on Wednesday, where lawmakers in the House prepare to vote on the $1.9 trillion stimulus package proposed by new President Joe Biden.

Away from Washington,  retailer Lowe’s reports quarterly results Wednesday after the close, following on from rival Home Depot, which registered a jump in same-store sales of almost 25% in the fourth quarter on Tuesday.

Nvidia also reports earnings Wednesday, and investors will be waiting to hear what the chipmaker says about the current shortage affecting everyone from car makers to game developers. 

The economic data slate centers around the housing market Wednesday, with January's new home sales due at 10:00 AM ET (1500 GMT). 

Oil prices rebounded from earlier losses Wednesday, resuming their recent upward trend after Tuesday’s surprise rise in both crude and gasoline stockpiles.

The official supply numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration are due at 10:30 AM ET (1530 GMT). These will be studied carefully after the American Petroleum Institute said crude inventories rose by over 1 million barrels last week, and gasoline inventories climbed by 66,000 barrels.

U.S. crude futures traded 1.1% higher at $61.36 a barrel, while the international benchmark Brent contract rose 1.2% to $65.28.

Elsewhere, gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,807.65/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.2165.