Futures up solidly ahead of Fed meeting


FILE - In this Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013, photo, traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. European markets brushed aside earlier weakness in Asia Monday, Dec. 16, 2013, as traders took in stride the prospect of a stimulus reduction from the U.S. Federal Reserve later this week. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) | Zoom

NEW YORK (AP) - Stock futures rose sharply ahead of the Fed's two-day policy meeting.

There was also a pair of multibillion-dollar buyouts Monday.

Dow Jones industrial futures rose 91 points to 15,792. S&P futures gained 9.7 points to 1,778.20. Nasdaq futures tacked on 15.75 points to 3,469.

The U.S. Federal Reserve will release a statement and projections for the economy Wednesday and the wording of that statement will be key.

Economists were almost unanimous in believing that the U.S. Federal Reserve would not begin winding down its monthly $85 billion bond-buying program just yet.

Recent economic data on jobs and consumer behavior now have some thinking that policymakers may begin hinting at a withdrawal.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said over the summer that before the government begins to pull back, he'd like to see a more stable employment picture, an inflation rate closer to the Fed's 2 percent target, and rising economic activity.

The government reported Monday that U.S. workers increased productivity from July through September, the fastest clip since late 2009.

It was the latest potential indicator of sustained economic growth.

Also on Monday, AIG announced the sale of its aircraft leasing business for about $5.4 billion. And the chipmaker Avago Technologies is buying LSI Corp. for $6.6 billion.

The Fed reports on output for industrial production in November as well Monday.

A closely watched report from the Institute for Supply Management, a private group of purchasing managers, recently showed factory activity climbed in November at the fastest pace in 2 1/2 years.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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