Futures little changed as Fed stays on course

Thu Jan 28, 2016 7:38am EST
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By Abhiram Nandakumar

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were largely unchanged on Thursday, a day after the U.S. Federal Reserve gave little indication of slowing the pace of interest rate hikes despite the turbulence in global markets.

The Fed kept rates unchanged and said it was "closely monitoring" global economic and financial developments.

Benchmark Brent crude was up nearly 1 percent, after Russian officials decided to talk to Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries about cutting production to help prices. [O/R]

U.S. stocks closed sharply lower on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 falling more than 1 percent, after the Fed's statement failed to impress some investors.

Investors and the central bank will now look to economic data for clarity on the health of the U.S. economy.

Separate reports on Thursday are expected to show durable goods orders fell 0.6 percent in December, while jobless claims likely fell to 282,000 last week. Both reports are due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Dow component Visa (V.N: Quote) is slated to report before the bell, and tech heavyweights Microsoft (MSFT.O: Quote) and Amazon (AMZN.O: Quote) are among those expected to report results after the close.

Ford's (F.N: Quote) shares were up 2.5 percent at $12.15 after the company's results.   Continued...

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange January 27, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid