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US STOCKS-Wall St set for higher open after 3-day drop amid caution

Friday, 13 Dec 2013 | 8:52 AM ET

* Producer prices fall for third straight month in Nov

U.S. House passes bill for $633 bln in defense spending

* Futures up: Dow 7 pts; S&P 3.7 pts; Nasdaq 13 pts

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set for a higher open on Friday, poised to bounce back after a three-day decline, though market participants remained cautious ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting next week.

U.S. stock index futures held gains after data showed producer prices fell for a third straight month in November, pointing to a lack of inflation that could give the Federal Reserve pause as it weighs the future of its monthly bond purchases.

Still, the S&P 500 index was on track to end the week lower. As of Thursday's close, the benchmark was set for its worst decline since the end of August.

Global equities were headed for their biggest two-week drop since June and the dollar hit 5-year highs against the yen on Friday amid concern the U.S. Federal Reserve could decide to start scaling back stimulus at its policy meeting on Dec. 16-17.

"The biggest component on investors' mindset is the Fed tapering factor. Other than that, we are entering the year-end and investors are looking to hold onto gains. There won't be any erratic move," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

S&P 500 futures rose 3.7 points and were above 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 added 7 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 13 points.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp and its Kerr-McGee unit acted with "intent to hinder" when they spun off Tronox, a paint materials company that later went bankrupt, and should pay billions of dollars in environmental cleanup costs, a judge ruled on Thursday. The decision had been awaited for about a year since a trial wrapped up in late 2012. The stock fell nearly 11 percent in premarket trading.

Twitter Inc was forced to nix a change to its "block" feature on Thursday after users protested that the new policy empowered perpetrators of online abuse.

Investors in U.S.-based funds pulled $6.51 billion out of stock mutual funds in the week ended Wednesday, the biggest weekly outflow this year, on worries over an imminent wind-down of Fed bond purchases, data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper service showed on Thursday.