Wall Street eyes higher open with Fed in focus

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Uber, Pfizer gain on upbeat forecasts


Eli Lilly slips on profit outlook cut


Abiomed soars on J&J buyout deal


Futures up: Dow 0.62%, S&P 0.94%, Nasdaq 1.18%

(Updates prices throughout, adds comment)

Nov 1 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were set to open higher on Tuesday, starting November on an upbeat note, with investors pinning hopes on the Federal Reserve toning down its aggressive approach on interest rate hikes.

Market focus is now squarely on the Fed’s two-day policy meeting after all the three main indexes notched solid monthly gains in October, supported by better-than-expected earnings and hopes of the U.S. central bank easing the pace of its monetary policy tightening.

Traders widely expect the Fed to hike interest rates by 75 basis points for a fourth time, but are watching for signals that may suggest a downshift to a smaller rate hike in December.

“If the Fed says that it believes that actions already taken have shown that the economy is slowing and they are on the right path, those kind of comments would be interpreted favorably,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York.

The yield on benchmark 10-year Treasury notes eased on Tuesday, helping lift megacap stocks such as Amazon.com Inc, Alphabet Inc and Microsoft Corp in premarket trading.

The megacap heavyweights have come under pressure in recent weeks after their dismal earnings reports forced investors to lean toward sectors such as energy that have fared much better this quarter.

The Institute for Supply Management’s (ISM) survey, due at 10 a.m. ET, is expected to show manufacturing PMI fell to 50 last month after declining to 50.9 in September.

“This would be another reading that would indicate that the manufacturing side of the U.S. economy is now in contraction or recession phase,” said Stovall.

At 7:53 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 203 points, or 0.62%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 36.5 points, or 0.94%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 134.75 points, or 1.18%.

Meanwhile, Uber Technologies climbed 9.2% after giving an upbeat fourth-quarter profit view that also lifted shares of its rivals Lyft Inc and DoorDash.

Pfizer rose 3.1% after the drugmaker raised full-year sales estimates for its COVID-19 vaccine, while Eli Lilly slipped 1.1% on trimming its profit forecast.

U.S.-listed shares of Chinese firms such as JD.Com, Alibaba Group Holding and Pinduoduo jumped between 5% and 8% following rumors based on an unverified note circulating on social media that China was planning a reopening from strict COVID-19 curbs in March.

Abiomed surged 52.2% premarket after Johnson & Johnson said it would acquire the heart pump maker in a deal valued at $16.6 billion. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Amruta Khandekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shounak Dasgupta)

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