US pre-open: Stock futures rally as market speculates on interest rates

LONDON (ShareCast) – US stock futures rallied as a Federal Reserve official said the central bank may raise interest rates in June. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said increasing interest rates around June were likely amid a strong labour market data.

Meanwhile, a report from NFIB showed small business optimism rose more than expected in December. The index climbed to 100.4 last month from 98.1 in November, beating expectations of 98.5.

Later on the US budget for December will be released while Fed official Narayana Kocherlakota speaks on the economic outlook in New York.

Otherwise, it’s a quiet day on the economic calendar in the US.

In corporate news, Alcoa (NYSE: AA – news) gained after reporting fourth-quarter profit and sales that beat analysts’ estimates.

Transocean (NYSE: RIG – news) and Occidental Petroleum declined as oil extended losses to below $ 45 a barrel.

Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL – news) and (NasdaqGS: AMZN – news) rallied, following a two-day drop in technology stocks.

The US 10-year Treasury yield rose one basis point to 1.92%.

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