US STOCKS-Futures slip as investors pause before Fed meet
* Futures down: Dow 2.25 pts, S&P 5.25 pts, Nasdaq 21 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
April 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Monday after a rally that pushed the S&P 500 closer to its record high as investors turned cautious ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting this week.
* The central bank's policymakers are expected to hold interest rates steady when they meet on Tuesday and Wednesday, but may tweak their description of the economic outlook to reflect more benign conditions that leave the path open for future rate rises.
* Traders are also keeping an eye on the outcome of a Bank of Japan meeting on Thursday, with expectations that Japan could push deeper into negative interest rate territory.
* The stock market is on one of its longest bull runs, with the S&P 500 about 2 percent away from its all-time high.
* Investors have been assessing first-quarter earnings, which are expected to decline 7.1 percent. Still, of the 132 S&P companies that have reported so far, 77 percent have beat expectations, above the long-term average of 63 percent, according to Thomson Reuters estimates.
* On Friday, Wall Street finished flat after disappointing quarterly reports from Microsoft and Alphabet slammed tech stocks.
* Express Scripts Holding and Roper Technologies are scheduled to report results on Monday. Continuación...