US STOCKS-Futures dip after Bullard remarks on stimulus in interview
* Bullard says stimulus could wind down from October
* Trading may get volatile due to "quadruple witching"
* Futures: Dow off 15 pts; S&P off 2.9 pts; Nasdaq up 0.8
NEW YORK, Sept 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures dipped on Friday following comments from a senior Federal Reserve official who said that the U.S. central bank's stimulus efforts could be scaled back from as early as October.
In an interview on Bloomberg TV, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said a wind-down of the Fed's $85-billion monthly bond purchase program from October was possible. On Wednesday, the Fed surprised markets and investors with its decision to delay scaling back stimulus from this month.
Bullard's interview remarks come on a day when several senior Federal Reserve officials, including himself, are scheduled to speak. Investors are hoping their remarks will shed light on the Fed's unexpected decision to keep its stimulus efforts intact, and on how much longer the Fed plans to continue stimulus.
Trading could be volatile as Friday marks the "quadruple witching," when stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures all expire on the same day. Trading increases as investors replace or repurchase existing contracts.
Helped by a rally that took the Dow and the S&P 500 to record highs on Wednesday following the Fed's decision, both indexes are now on track for a third consecutive week of gains.
So far, the benchmark S&P 500 index is up 2 percent and the Dow is up 1.7 percent for the week.
S&P 500 futures fell 2.9 points and were slightly 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 15 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures added 0.8 points.
"I think the Fed speakers are basically going to give mixed messages. It's been like that in the past and we may see some surprise headlines from some speakers," said Koe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.
Meanwhile, Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan surprised markets in his maiden policy review on Friday by raising interest rates to ward off rising inflation, while scaling back some of the emergency measures put in place to support the ailing rupee.
"We need to look at the move by India, see if that cycles through. We know that anything the Fed decides cycles through emerging markets, but let's see if it back cycles here," Saluzzi said.
Bullard will speak on monetary policy to the New York Association for Business Economics at 12:55 p.m. EDT (1655 GMT).
Just ahead of that, Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Esther George delivers a speech on the economy to the Shadow Open Market Committee in New York at 12:30 p.m.
Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo speaks on macroprudential regulation in New Haven, Connecticut at 12:40 p.m. EDT.
Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Narayana Kocherlakota talks at a conference on risk in options prices in New York at 1:45 p.m. EDT.
In Europe, shares were steady on Friday, hovering around five-year highs hit in the previous session, with the expiry of September derivatives contracts keeping trade brisk though choppy.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.04 percent at 1,265.47 points after hitting its highest level since mid-2008 in the previous session. It was on track for a third straight week of gains.
In company news, Microsoft Corp could be in the spotlight. Chief Executive Steve Ballmer made an impassioned plea to investors at an annual meeting to support his vision of the world's largest software company as a unified devices and services powerhouse. He had said in August he plans to step down within 12 months. The stock was down 0.1 percent at $33.61 in premarket trading.