US STOCKS-Futures slip after BOJ comments; Fed in focus
* Futures down: Dow 73 pts, S&P 10.75 pts, Nasdaq 16.25 pts
By Abhiram Nandakumar
March 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were lower on Tuesday as the Bank of Japan's gloomy view about the Japanese economy troubled investors ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting.
* The BOJ left unchanged the negative interest rates it adopted in January, but lowered its assessment of inflation expectations to say they were "weakening recently," suggesting it may increase its stimulus program.
* Global markets fell and the yen rose as investors sought traditional safe havens. Oil prices continued sliding on mounting fears that a recent rally had run its course as the global glut showed no signs of abating soon.
* Wall Street closed little changed on Wednesday as investors waited on the sidelines ahead of the Fed's meeting, which concludes on Wednesday.
* The Fed is not expected to raise interest rates, but its comments will be parsed for clues on the path of future hikes.
* With the central bank heavily reliant on data, investors will also keep a close eye on the economic reports being released this week for a bearing on the U.S. economy.
* The Commerce Department is expected to report that retail sales fell 0.2 percent in February, after rising 0.2 percent in January. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT). Continuación...