Updated from 5:49 a.m. EDT
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Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Nov. 3:
1. -- U.S. stock futures suggested Wall Street would open mixed on continued jitters over next week's U.S. presidential election and as the Federal Reserve held interest rates steady but left the door open for a rate hike next month.
The Fed, as expected, left the fed funds rate at 0.25% to 0.5% at its November meeting, noting that it was waiting for some further evidence of progress toward its goals of full employment and 2% inflation. The decision was 8 to 2 with Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester and Kansas City Fed President Esther George the two dissenters.
"The Committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has continued to strengthen but decided, for the time being, to wait for some further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives," the central bank said in a statement. "The stance of monetary policy remains accommodative, thereby supporting further improvement."
"All the signs now point to a hike in December," said Luke Bartholomew, fixed income investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management. "The labor market is doing well, inflation is creeping up and growth is good. However, there's the small matter of the U.S. election to navigate in between now and the U.S. Federal Reserve's next meeting."
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Thursday includes weekly Initial Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. EDT, third-quarter U.S. Productivity and Costs at 8:30 a.m., Factory Orders for September at 10 a.m., and the ISM Services Index for October at 10 a.m.