US STOCKS-Wall St to open flat ahead of Fed statement; Facebook slides

miércoles 29 de octubre de 2014 09:20 GYT

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* Futures: Dow up 20 pts, S&P flat, Nasdaq down 4 pts (Updates prices, adds comment)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Oct 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open little changed on Wednesday ahead of a statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve as it winds down its stimulus program, with a decline in Facebook keeping pressure on S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures.

In an otherwise data-light session, the Fed is likely to announce that it will no longer add to its holdings of Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities, effectively ending a program that at its peak pumped $85 billion a month into the financial system.

The Fed's cash injection is widely seen as a pillar of the current multiyear bull market in equities, and earnings are expected to support any further advances. So far this reporting season, 73.5 percent of S&P 500 companies have exceeded profit expectations. In a typical quarter since 1994, 63 percent of companies beat estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data.

"Everybody is looking ahead to the FOMC statement in the afternoon. I'd expect we won't have a lot of movement before that," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

"Not a lot is expected other than a confirmation that they eliminated QE and maybe we'll get additional guidance, hints on when they might start raising rates."   Continuación...