* Futures off: Dow 16 pts, S&P 1 pts, Nasdaq 6 pts
NEW YORK, Sept 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures dipped on Tuesday ahead of data on producer price inflation, with traders positioning for a Federal Reserve meeting expected to provide clues on the short term direction of U.S. interest rates.
* The Labor Department’s producer price index, due at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT), is expected to have risen 0.1 percent in August, the same as in July.
* Later Tuesday, the Fed will begin a two-day policy meeting. A statement and forecasts will be released Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT) followed by a press conference half an hour later.
* U.S.-traded AstraZeneca shares fell 1.7 percent in premarket trading after it signed a partnership deal with U.S. rival Eli Lilly that could earn the British company up to $500 million if an experimental Alzheimer’s drug proves successful.
* United Airlines and union officials said eligible flight attendants will be paid up to $100,000 in a voluntary buyout, in a deal that aims to end furloughs at the over-staffed airline.
Futures snapshot at 7:21 (1121 GMT):
* S&P 500 e-minis down 1.25 points, or 0.06 percent, with 92,186 contracts changing hands.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis down 5.75 points, or 0.14 percent, in volume of 11,552 contracts.
* Dow e-minis down 16 points, or 0.09 percent, with 4,900 contracts changing hands.
Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Bernadette Baum