* Fed holds rates at near-zero
* Banks lower in premarket trading
* Adobe falls after cutting forecast
* Futures down: Dow 193 pts, S&P 22 pts, Nasdaq 48 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
Sept 18 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open lower on Friday after the Federal Reserve’s decision to hold interest rates exacerbated worries about the health of the global economy.
Apart from the state of the world economy, the Fed cited financial market volatility and sluggish inflation at home in its decision to leave rates unchanged, but left the door open for a modest policy tightening later this year.
“Investors are wrestling with how concerned they should be regarding global growth,” said Jeremy Zirin, chief equity strategist at UBS Wealth Management.
“The Fed has introduced a quasi third mandate about the global growth, apart from the labor market and inflation.”
An economic environment in which the Fed feels it cannot end the era of near-zero interest rates is not one likely to foster the kind of earnings growth needed to support stocks at their current, above-average valuations.
The S&P 500 is trading near 15.6 times forward 12-month earnings, above the 10-year median of 14.7 times, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine data.
At 8:44 a.m. ET (1244 GMT), S&P 500 e-minis were down 22 points, or 1.11 percent, with 418,465 contracts changing hands. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 48 points, or 1.1 percent, on volume of 49,075 contracts, while Dow Jones e-minis were down 193 points, or 1.17 percent, with 49,035 contracts traded.
Investors are now focusing on the Fed meeting on Oct. 27-28 as the next chance for the central bank to raise interest for the first time since 2006.
However, a growing number of economists, including those at Morgan Stanley and Barclays, are now wondering whether the Fed will raise rates at all this year.
Interest rate futures indicated only a 21 percent chance of a hike at the Fed’s next meeting, with a 47 percent chance in December.
Wall Street closed lower on Thursday, with bank stocks leading the decline following the Fed’s announcement. Banks benefit from higher interest rates.
Shares of Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan were down between 0.5 percent and 1.3 percent in premarket trading on Friday.
Adobe Systems was down 2.5 percent at $78.28 a day after the company issued a profit forecast that missed expectations. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)