May 2, 2017 / 11:18 AM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Futures flat ahead of start of Fed meeting, Apple results

* Futures: Dow down 14 pts, S&P down 1.75 pts, Nasdaq up 3.25 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

May 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Tuesday ahead of the start of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting and quarterly corporate results from Apple.

* The Fed begins its meeting later in the day and while the central bank is widely expected to stand pat on interest rates, investors will be keeping an eye on its statement, due on Wednesday, for clues regarding the future path of rate hikes.

* Shares of Apple were up 0.2 percent at $146.90 in premarket trading, after hitting a record high a day earlier. The iPhone maker is due to report results after the close of market.

* Wall Street climbed on Monday, boosted by gains in marquee tech stocks, including Apple, that more than offset weak economic data and pushed the Nasdaq to another record high.

* The CBOE Volatility Index, a barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at its lowest level since February, 2007.

* Investors are bracing for another heavy week of corporate reports to see if quarterly earnings will be able to keep on exceeding expectations.

* Overall, profits at S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 13.6 percent in the first quarter, the most since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

* Strong earnings have outweighed concerns about patches of weak economic data. The ISM measure of manufacturing activity undershot forecasts on Monday, coming after a report last week showed the economy grew at its slowest pace in three years in the first quarter.

* A heavy week of economic data will culminate in the monthly non-farm payrolls report on Friday.

* Pfizer was up 0.3 percent at $33.89, after the drugmaker’s quarterly profit rose, while Merck rose 1.6 percent to $63.40 after the company’s quarterly profit beat expectations.

* Advanced Micro Devices tumbled 11.6 percent to $12.04 after the chipmaker’s second-quarter gross margins forecast raised some concerns.

* Angie’s List soared 44.3 percent to $8.50 in light premarket trading after IAC/InterActiveCorp said it would buy the consumer review website operator.

* Tenet Healthcare rose 15.7 percent to $17.76 after reporting a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss.

Futures snapshot at 7:05 a.m. ET (1105 GMT):

* Dow e-minis were down 14 points, or 0.07 percent, with 12,101 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were down 1.75 points, or 0.07 percent, with 71,953 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 3.25 points, or 0.06 percent, on volume of 16,344 contracts. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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