September 21, 2016 / 5:32 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St little changed ahead of Fed rate decision

* BOJ adopts target for long-term interest rates

* Apple weighs on all three indexes

* Indexes up: Dow 0.04 pct, S&P 0.1 pct, Nasdaq 0.02 pct (Updates to early afternoon)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Sept 21 (Reuters) - Wall Street was little changed on Wednesday afternoon, minutes before the Federal Reserve announces its decision on interest rate hikes.

The central bank statement’s at 2:00 p.m. ET is widely expected to show that its rate-setters chose to leave interest rates unchanged. However, investors will comb their comments for clues on the timing of the next hike.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to speak at a press conference at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Global markets were taken by surprise after the Bank of Japan decided to adopt a “yield curve control” under which it will buy long-term government bonds to keep 10-year bond yields at current levels around zero percent.

The BOJ also said it would not hesitate to ease monetary policy to support growth.

The dollar index was down 0.22 percent on dim prospects of a rate hike this afternoon. The yen declined 0.99 percent against the dollar.

“I’m trying to get excited about another Fed day,” said Chuck Self, chief investment officer at iSectors LLC in Appleton, Wisconsin. “The Fed is not going to do anything, but they may issue a ‘hawkish hold’ statement.”

A hawkish hold by the Fed would mean maintaining rates at current levels with the outlook of a hike in the coming months. The overall consensus among economists is for a move in December, according to a Reuters poll.

Traders have priced in an 18 percent chance of a rate hike hours before the Fed statement. The odds rise to 61.5 percent for December, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

The central bank raised interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade last December but weak economic data and global uncertainty have prevented it from raising the rates further.

At 13:25 a.m. ET (1725 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 7.98 points, or 0.04 percent, at 18,137.94.

The S&P 500 was up 2.07 points, or 0.1 percent, at 2,141.83.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 1.12 points, or 0.02 percent, at 5,242.48.

The S&P energy sector rose 1.2 percent after oil prices surged more than 2 percent.

However, a 0.7 percent decline in Apple weighed on all three major indexes.

Allergan fell 1.3 percent, dropping for the second day after striking two acquisition deals on Tuesday.

Adobe Systems was the top percentage gainer on the S&P, rising 6.3 percent to $106.99 after reporting better-than-expected quarterly revenue.

FedEx rose 6 percent to $172.43 after the package delivery company’s quarterly profit rose more than expected.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,855 to 1,059. On the Nasdaq, 1,521 issues rose and 1,198 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed seven new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 60 new highs and 20 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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