US STOCKS-Futures little changed amid dearth of incentives
* Wall Street struggles for direction, volume has been low
* Europe shows signs of momentum, France out of recession
* Deere shares jump in premarket trading after results
* Futures down: Dow 20 pts, S&P 2.7 pts, Nasdaq 3.75 pts
NEW YORK, Aug 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were mostly flat on Wednesday as investors found few reasons to make big bets with equities near all-time highs and little clarity over Federal Reserve policy.
* Wall Street has struggled for direction recently, with the S&P 500 trading in a narrow range over the past month. During that period, the index has only closed once with a move greater than 1 percent.
* Trading volume has been among the lowest of the year, with earnings season winding down and economic indicators presenting a mixed view of economic growth. Currently, the S&P is less than 1 percent away from its all-time high.
* On Tuesday, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said the U.S. central bank could begin reducing its bond-buying stimulus as early as next month, though data has been too mixed to outline a detailed exit strategy.
* Equities have been closely tethered to Fed policy, and many investors are worried that economic growth may lose momentum without the Fed's intervention. Many traders may wait to adjust positions until there is more clarity on when the program could begin to slow.
* July producer prices, to be released at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT), are seen rising 0.3 percent.
* S&P 500 futures fell 2.7 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 20 points and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 3.75 points.
* Overseas markets were stronger, with both China and Europe seeing a string of encouraging economic indicators. European shares rose 0.2 percent on Wednesday, extending a seven-week rally after data showed France pulled out of recession in the second quarter, while Germany posted its largest expansion in more than a year.
* Deere & Co rose 2.5 percent to $86 in premarket trading after the company reported third-quarter earnings and sales that beat expectations.
* Shares of Apple Inc will remain in focus a day after activist investor Carl Icahn tweeted that he had built a "large position" in the stock and talked to CEO Tim Cook about a larger stock buyback.
* The news pushed shares of the tech titan to a multi-month high on Tuesday, and shares extended those gains in premarket trading Wednesday, rising 1.2 percent to $495.50.
* Zynga Inc announced the departure late Tuesday of several senior executives, including Chief Operating Officer David Ko.
* U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday after strong economic data, including retail sales, while Apple boosted the Nasdaq.