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Wall Street Likely To Open Slightly Lower Ahead Of Fed Policy

U.S. stocks are likely to open on a cautious note, with a slightly negative bias on Thursday, after recording strong gains in the previous session as U.S. midterm election results came in line with expectations.

U.S. stock futures were drifting down a bit, indicating some consolidation in the market after recent gains.

The major averages ended just off their highs of the session on Wednesday. The Dow surged up 545.29 points or 2.1 percent to 26,180.30, the Nasdaq soared 194.79 points or 2.6 percent to 7,570.75 and the S&P 500 spiked 58.44 points or 2.1 percent to 2,813.89.

Investors are likely to take some profits ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy announcement, due later in the day.

The Fed is widely expected to keep interest rate unchanged. Investors will be looking ahead to the accompanying statement for clues on future rate hikes.

At 8:30 AM ET, a report on jobless claims for the week ended November 3 is due.

Investors will also be tracking the next batch of earnings reports for direction. Walt Disney Company, Dropbox Inc. and Hertz Global Holdings Inc. are among the companies scheduled to announce quarterly earnings today.

In commodities, crude oil futures for December were gaining about 0.3% at $61.85 a barrel. Gold futures were down 0.11% at 1,225.00 an ounce and Silver futures were lower by 0.23% at $14.495 an ounce.

European markets opened on a firm note but pared some gains as the session progressed.

In economic news from Europe, Germany's exports and imports declined unexpectedly in September, official data revealed. Exports dropped 0.8 percent month-on-month, reversing a 0.1 percent rise in August, while imports slid 0.4 percent following August's 2.4 percent decrease. Economists had forecast a 0.3 percent rise in exports and a 0.8 percent increase in imports.

Asian stocks ended mostly higher on Thursday, with investors picking up stocks, after having stayed away on the sidelines for most part of the previous session.

In economic news from Asia, China's exports and imports both increased more than expected in October. China's exports grew 15.6 percent annually, beating forecasts for an 11.7% jump, imports were up 21.4 percent in the month, compared to the forecast of 14.7 percent. The trade surplus came in at $34 billion in the month versus the expected level of $35.1 billion.

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