US Stock Futures opens flat ahead of Janet Yellen’s 2nd day of testimony

<p>Markets also await US housing market data.</p>

US stock futures was flat this morning (February 25th) as investors awaited a second day of testimony from Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen, as well as data on the US housing market. Ms Yellen is due to testify before the House Financial Services Committee at 10:00 EST. The new US home sales data for January is also due later today.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures added one point this morning to 18187. The S&P 500 futures dropped 0.1 per cent to 2112, while the Nasdaq-100 futures also fell 0.1 per cent to 4444.

European stocks remained flat. France’s CAC 40 and Germany’s DAX edged 0.1 per cent down. The FTSE 100 was down 0.3 per cent.

Asian stocks traded higher today, with Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rising 0.1 per cent to 18,628.98, Australia's S&P/ASX 200 edging up 0.3 per cent to 5,944.70, while South Korea's Kospi added 0.8 per cent to 1,990.92.

Stocks reached fresh new records yesterday as investors welcomed comments from Ms Yellen that the US central bank would be patient about raising interest rates. 

She said this is because the job market is still healing and inflation is too low, adding that that the Fed is preparing to consider increases "on a meeting-by-meeting basis," and that she and her colleagues would provide markets with a clearer signals before they moved.

The Dow advanced 0.5 per cent to 18209.19, its second record for the year. The S&P rose 0.3 per cent to 2115.48 for its fourth closing high in 2015.

The FTSE 100 share index closed at its highest level for over 15 years at 6,949.63, beating the previous highest of 6,930.2 set on December 30th, 1999.

"All the stars have been aligned recently, we have had the lower euro, the lower oil and the lower cost of funding," said Didier Duret, chief investment officer at ABN Amro, quoted by Reuters.

"For the rally to continue we now need two things. The recovery has to be driven by hard facts, the consumer and manufacturing. And we need the hope that the Fed won't be too aggressive with hiking rates and yesterday we got that message."

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