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Originally published March 20, 2014 at 6:36 AM | Page modified March 20, 2014 at 7:38 AM

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US stock futures lower

U.S. stock futures a falling as investors digest the prospect of interest rates rising faster than they had expected.


AP Markets Writer

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NEW YORK —

U.S. stock futures a falling as investors digest the prospect of interest rates rising faster than they had expected.

KEEPING SCORE: Dow Jones industrial average futures are down 43 points at 16,095 shortly before the market open. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures gave up four points to 1,847 and Nasdaq futures are down 10 points to 3,6663.

THE YELLEN EFFECT: Fed Chair Janet Yellen set the stage for a possible interest rate hike by the middle of next year. The Fed also backed away from its previous stance tying interest rates to falling unemployment, which is still hovering at 6.7 percent. Because the unemployment rate has remained stubbornly high, investors had settled in for longer run on record-low, short-term interest rates.

JOBS PICTURE: The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 5,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 320,000, The Labor Department said. That's close to pre-recession levels and suggests a stable job market.

TREASURIES AND COMMODITIES: The yield on the 10-year government bond rose to 2.78 percent from 2.77 percent on Thursday. The price of oil fell 70 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $98.50 a barrel. Gold dropped $17, or 1.3 percent, to $1,324.30 an ounce.



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