US futures edge higher as Fed meets in Washington

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Associated Press

Posted on March 19, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 19 at 9:33 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures rose with the Federal Reserve expected to maintain record-low interest rates and other measures to keep the economy tracking toward a recovery.

The Fed kicks off a two-day meeting Tuesday, and will issue a statement and update economic forecasts Wednesday.

Dow Jones industrial futures rose 19 points to 14,409. The broader S&P futures added 3.5 points to 1,550.30. Nasdaq futures gained 8.25 points to 2,795.25.

Global markets are still rattled by a grab for personal bank savings in Cyprus.

The tiny island nation in the Mediterranean roiled markets this week, announcing hefty taxes on banking accounts over the weekend in a bid to steady its ailing banks and to secure an international bailout.

A report from the Commerce Department on housing pushed futures even higher.

U.S. builders started more houses and apartments in February, while requesting permits for future construction at the fastest pace in 4 ½ years.

The gains are likely to grow even faster in the coming months. Building permits, a sign of future construction, increased 4.6 percent to 946,000. That was also the most since June 2008, just a few months into the Great Recession.

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