US STOCKS-Futures flat as investors await earnings, Fed meet

lunes 25 de julio de 2016 07:19 GYT

* Futures: Dow up 3 pts, S&P up 0.25 pts, Nasdaq down 2.5 pts

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

July 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were flat on Monday as investors braced for another set of corporate earnings and ahead of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting.

* The Fed, which has had to defer raising interest rates, will commence its two-day meeting on Tuesday to decide whether the U.S. economy could absorb a rate increase in the near term.

* The policy-setting Federal Open Market Committee is scheduled to announce its decision on Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT).

* Even with recent data pointing to the U.S. economy being on strong footing, global uncertainty sparked by Britain's vote to leave the European Union has left the Fed jittery over the impact of a hike.

* Traders have priced in a 14.7 percent chance of a rate hike in September and a 38.5 percent chance in December, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool.

* Low expectations of rate hikes, robust economic data and higher-than-expected second-quarter earnings set Wall Street on a record-setting streak in the past two weeks. Investors are hopeful that companies continue a broad trend of beating analysts' expectations to justify valuations.

* Wall Street closed higher on Friday, helped by gains in telecom stocks and strong manufacturing data.   Continuación...