8 de abril de 2015 / 12:57 / en 3 años

US STOCKS-Wall St to open flat ahead of Fed minutes; M&A eyed

* Fed minutes due at 1800 GMT

* Dow, S&P, Nasdaq e-minis each up 0.1 pct or less (Adds Rite Aid, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open little changed on Wednesday, with traders eyeing a $70 billion mega-deal in the energy space and ahead of minutes from the most recent meeting of the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting committee.

* Royal Dutch Shell said it would buy rival BG Group for $70 billion, closing the gap on market leader U.S. Exxon Mobil. U.S.-traded Shell shares fell 1.7 percent in the premarket after the announcement of the first major oil industry merger in more than a decade.

* Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s March policy meeting, in which the Fed downgraded its economic growth and inflation projections while leaving the door open to kick-start its tightening path, are expected at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT). Traders will search for clues on the central bank’s next move.

* Private equity firms Blackstone Group and Corsair Capital are in talks to acquire a major stake in First Eagle Investment Management, valuing the company at around $4 billion, including debt.

* Lions Gate shares fell 5.9 percent after the company announced a secondary offering of about 10 million shares by funds affiliated with MHR fund management, its largest shareholder.

* As the reporting season starts to gain momentum, first-quarter S&P 500 earnings are projected to show a decline of 2.8 percent from a year earlier, which would be the worst results since the third quarter of 2009.

* Rite Aid Corp was up 1.5 percent after the drugstore chain reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by strong prescription sales that also drove up same-store sales.

Futures snapshot at 8:37 a.m. (1237 GMT):

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 1.75 points, or 0.08 percent, with 108,600 contracts changing hands.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 4.5 points, or 0.1 percent, on volume of 16,398 contracts.

* Dow e-minis were up 13 points, or 0.07 percent, with 19,759 contracts changing hands. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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