US STOCKS-U.S. futures higher ahead of Fed statement
* Futures up: Dow 42 pts, S&P 4 pts, Nasdaq 12 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
July 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday on hopes that Beijing could stem the rout in its markets and ahead of a statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve that could give clues regarding the timing of a rate hike.
* Investors are focused on the outcome of the Fed's two-day policy meeting with markets divided on whether it will take a hawkish or dovish stance. No move on rates is expected this week.
* In a recent congressional testimony, Fed Chair Janet Yellen neither ruled out a September interest rate hike nor guided the market toward thinking it was a done deal. The statement is expected at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT).
* U.S. interest rates have remained near zero for nearly a decade. Higher rates increase the cost of borrowing for companies.
* Pledges from Chinese regulators to buy shares to stabilize stocks if needed and hints of more policy easing from the central bank also soothed sentiments.
* With second-quarter reports well under way, analysts now expect overall earnings of S&P 500 companies to edge up 0.3 percent and revenue to decline 4.0 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
* Companies expected to report on Wednesday include MasterCard before the bell while Facebook and MetLife are scheduled after the close. Continuación...