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Wall Street seen higher amid Fed meeting and housing starts; oil lower

Choppy markets navigate uncertain central bank policies

U.S. stock-index futures gained on Tuesday as traders awaited the start of the U.S. Federal Reserve's two-day meeting.

The central bank will make a policy announcement on Wednesday at the end of the meeting. Market consensus is for the Fed to hold its base rate in the 0.25-0.50 percent range and not lift again until December.

The Bank of Japan will also meet on Tuesday and make an announcement on Wednesday. There is speculation the Japanese central bank could cut interest rates further into negative territory.

On Tuesday, attention will be on U.S. housing starts and building permits data for August — which showed a drop — as well as oil prices. U.S. stocks on Monday gave up gains when crude turned lower. U.S. equities closed mostly flat on Monday after a choppy session.

Monday's market close

Major U.S. Indexes: DJIA, NCOMP, SPX

Light crude futures for October traded 37 cents lower on Tuesday at $42.93 per barrel.

Companies expected to report earnings on Tuesday include FedEx, Adobe and KB Home. Lennar posted better-than-expected quarterly results.

Another stock to watch will be Chesapeake Energy, after S&P Global Ratings downgraded its credit rating to "selective default" from "CC." The stock traded more than 5 percent lower in extended hours trade.

Shares of Frankfurt-listed Bayer were higher on Tuesday as the company forecast higher revenue and earnings in forthcoming years after announcing a planned $66 billion takeover of Monsanto.

London-listed shares of GSK were lower after the company said Emma Walmsley would replace Andrew Witty as CEO when he retires in March 2017.

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