US STOCKS-Wall St to open up ahead of Apple earnings, Fed meeting later this week
* Apple shares up ahead of results
* Applied Materials falls after merger called off
* Futures up: Dow 53 pts, S&P 4.75 pts, Nasdaq 16 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
April 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a modestly higher open on Monday after the Nasdaq and S&P 500 chalked up record high closes on Friday and ahead of Apple's results after the close.
Investors this week will also be closely watching the results of the two-day U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, starting Tuesday, for clues on when interest rates could be hiked.
"So far, both the economic data and earnings data has been weaker-than-expected and so that means that an imminent rate hike is most likely off the table," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.
A slew of recent sub-par indicators have prompted analysts to downgrade their view of the U.S. economic outlook and to push back expectations of when the Fed will hike rates for the first time since June 2006 until later this year.
Strong results from tech giants pushed the Nasdaq Composite to end at 5,092.09 on Friday, its second straight record high close. The S&P 500 closed at a record high of 2,117.69 points, just above its previous high of 2,117.39 set on March 2. Continuación...