* August CPI index falls unexpectedly
* Fed to begin two-day meeting on Wednesday
* Beverage makers up after Anheuser-Busch approaches SABMiller
* FedEx falls after missing expectations
* Futures off: Dow 4 pts, S&P 2 pts, Nasdaq 0.5 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
Sept 16 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open little changed on Wednesday as investors held off making big bets ahead of the two-day Federal Reserve meeting that will decide on an interest rate hike.
The Fed begins its meeting on Wednesday and will announce its decision on Thursday.
Speculation about when the Fed will end seven years of near-zero interest rates has dogged Wall Street for months, with the picture complicated by recent market turbulence that some see as justification for the central bank to stand pat.
Fed fund futures <0#FF:> see only a 30 percent chance that Janet Yellen and her colleagues will pull the trigger this week but surveys of economists have been split 50-50 on a hike.
“It should be relatively quiet today ... investors are taking some trades off ahead of the meeting,” said John Brady, managing director at R.J. O‘Brien & Associates in Chicago.
S&P 500 e-minis were down 1.5 points, or 0.08 percent, at 8:37 a.m. ET (1237 GMT) while Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 0.5 points, or 0.01 percent, and Dow e-minis were down 4 points, or 0.02 percent.
Stocks have been volatile since China devalued its currency in August. The S&P 500 has had moves of at least 1 percent in 12 of the past 18 sessions.
On Tuesday, the CBOE Volatility index - popularly known as the “fear index” - closed above 22 for the 17th consecutive day, the longest it has lingered above that level in nearly four years. The long-term average is 20.
“The volatility will continue until the Fed takes control of the policy and does what they’ve been thinking about or talking about for the better part of two years,” said Brady.
Data on Wednesday showed that U.S. consumer prices unexpectedly fell in August as gasoline prices resumed their decline and a strong dollar curbed the cost of other goods.
The consumer price index slipped 0.1 percent last month. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the CPI would be unchanged in August.
The Fed has said it will raise rates only when it sees a sustained recovery in the economy with special emphasis on the labor market and inflation. While the job market has continued to gain strength, inflation remains below the 2 percent target set by the central bank.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development trimmed its growth outlook for the global economy but said the United States is doing well enough that its central bank should go ahead with a rate increase.
“Raising interest rates now would remove uncertainty in the markets,” OECD chief economist Catherine Mann said, adding that what the Fed did afterwards would matter far more than the initial move.
Shares of Hewlett-Packard were up 1.6 percent at $27.55 premarket. The company said it would cut up to 33,300 jobs and issued forecasts for the two new companies that it plans to split into later this year.
FedEx was down 3.2 percent at $149.10 after the package delivery company missed profit expectations.
U.S.-listed shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev were up 5.9 percent at $114.40 after the world’s biggest beer maker approached rival SABMiller about a takeover.
Molson Coors jumped 13 percent, while Altria, which owns a 27 percent stake in SABMiller, was up more than 3.7 percent. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Don Sebastian)