* Valeant down after cutting revenue forecast
* Feb retail sales fall less than expected
* Futures down: Dow 94 pts, S&P 12.75 pts, Nasdaq 18.5 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
March 15 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open lower on Tuesday, ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policy meeting, tracking global markets that fell on the Japanese central bank’s gloomy view about the economy.
The Bank of Japan 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 two-day meeting, which starts on Tuesday.
The Fed is not expected to raise interest rates, but its comments will be parsed for clues on the path of future hikes.
“We just overcame two very volatile months and investors are just stepping back a little bit, digesting data and figuring out where to best be positioned for the next six-nine months,” said Brian Fenske, head of sales trading at ITG in New York.
At 8:35 a.m. ET (1235 GMT), Dow e-minis were down 94 points, or 0.55 percent, with 7,241 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis were down 12.75 points, or 0.63 percent, with 222,807 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 18.5 points, or 0.42 percent, on volume of 9,238 contracts.
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.
Data on Tuesday showed retail sales dipped 0.1 percent in February, less than the 0.2 percent drop estimated, but a sharp downward revision to January’s sales could reignite concerns about the economy’s growth prospects.
Shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals were down 18.2 percent at $56.50 premarket after the Canadian drugmaker cut its revenue forecast for 2016.
Apple was up 1.4 percent at $104 after Morgan Stanley said iPhone demand for March was tracking ahead of expectations.
Mead Johnson rose 8.8 percent to $82.06 with traders attributing gains to a report that sparked deal chatter. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)