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Futures mixed ahead of next Fed meeting

Wednesday - 12/11/2013, 9:37am  ET

A pair of traders confer on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013. Stocks are opening lower on Wall Street as investors hold back ahead of economic reports that could influence when the Federal Reserve will start reducing its stimulus. World stock markets mostly fell Wednesday Dec. 11, 2013 as investors factored in the prospect of the Federal Reserve reducing its lavish monetary stimulus this month. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stock futures were mixed Wednesday as investors continue to take profits toward the end of the year.

Dow Jones industrial futures rose 13 points to 15,991 on Wednesday. S&P futures gained less than a point to 1,803.50. Nasdaq futures fell less than a point to 3,515.75.

Many people are also moving to the sidelines ahead of the next meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve, which begins Tuesday.

Because recent economic data has been so strong, especially on the jobs front, there is a growing belief that the U.S. will ease back on its monthly $85 billion bond buying program. The program has flooded markets with cash and kept interest rates incredibly low.

The retail sector continues to struggle and many companies acknowledge that they will have to cut prices to get rid of bloated inventory. But it's a mixed picture.

Shares of Urban Outfitters rose 4 percent before the opening bell after it said comparable store sales this quarter are edging up in the "mid-single digit percentage" range.

Costco gave up ground, however, after falling short of Wall Street expectations for the first quarter. Still, profit rose 2 percent and the wholesale club operator pulled in more money from membership fees.

The Treasury reports on the budget deficit for November at 2 p.m. Eastern time.


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