Comtex SmarTrend Opening Bell Comments -- March 16, 2010

U.S. stock futures are trading higher Tuesday ahead of the conclusion of the Federal Reserve's interest rate policy meeting. The Fed has previously reiterated that inflation is not a near-term problem and that it plans to keep rates low for an "extended" period but investors will pay close attention to their statement for clues as to when the policy may change. Economic reports due out include housing construction. The Commerce Department is expected to say that housing construction slipped in February due to bad weather across the country. Economists expect that it fell 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 570,000. FactSet Research Systems (NYSE:FDS) reported fiscal Q2 EPS of $0.75, beating consensus estimates by one penny. Revenues for the quarter rose 0.5% year-over-year to $157.3 million, topping consensus estimates of $156.4 million. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) futures are trading 12.00 points above fair value, the S&P500 (INX) futures are trading 1.80 points above fair value, and the Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) futures are trading 4.00 points above fair value.