* Futures: Dow off 1 pt, S&P up 1 pt, Nasdaq down 1 pt (Updates prices, adds comment)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Sept 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open little changed on Wednesday ahead of a key statement by the Federal Reserve which is expected to provide clues on the next monetary policy move by the U.S. central bank.
The Fed, as it concludes a two-day policy meeting, is expected to provide indications on how soon it may lift interest rates as it prepares for a shift in stance after years of aggressive monetary stimulus.
The benchmark S&P 500 posted its best performance in a month Tuesday and the Dow industrials set a record intraday high amid wavering expectations regarding the Fed’s stance.
Tuesday’s rally “discounted a favorable Fed statement today so anything more hawkish than a statement very close to the last one will probably be read negatively,” said Jack De Gan, chief investment officer at Harbor Advisory Corp in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
He said if the statement was supportive of equities, the S&P should test resistance near the 2,101 area.
S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 1 point and fair value - a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract - indicated a flat open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures fell 1 point and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures lost 1 point.
FedEx shares added 2.8 percent in premarket trading after the world’s No. 2 package delivery company reported a better-than-expected 24 percent jump in quarterly profit.
U.S. Steel shares rose 11.7 percent in premarket trading a day after the company estimated its results to be “significantly” higher than current Wall Street estimates.
The company also announced strategic actions that Goldman Sachs characterized as “the boldest steps by U.S. Steel management toward accelerating its transformation into a suitably profitable company.”
Shares of peer AK Steel added 5.6 percent before the opening bell.
Auxilium Pharmaceuticals shares surged 44 percent in premarket trading a day after receiving an unsolicited offer from Endo International . Analysts said the offer could complicate Auxilium’s buyout of Canadian eye drug maker QLT Inc, whose U.S. shares were down 11.3 percent. U.S.-traded Endo shares rose 3.6 percent. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)