×

US STOCKS-Futures edge up ahead of Fed decision; earnings in focus

* Futures up: Dow 26 pts, S&P 3 pts, Nasdaq 5.75 pts

July 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher on Wednesday as investors awaited the outcome of a two-day Federal Reserve meeting and a fresh set of earnings.

* Although the central bank is not likely to raise interest rates, it is expected to discuss its monetary policy stance and the timing of a long-awaited balance sheet reduction. The Fed's statement is due at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT).

* The market continues to focus on second-quarter earnings, which is expected to have climbed 9.1 percent in the second quarter, up from an 8 percent rise estimated at the start of the month, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

* The S&P and the Nasdaq closed at record highs on Tuesday, while the Dow hovered around record levels, helped by well-received reports from big names, including McDonald's and Caterpillar.

* The market's run to record highs has left equities relatively expensive and investors are counting on earnings to justify the valuations.

* The S&P 500 is trading around 18 times earnings estimates for the next 12 months, well above its long-term average of 15 times.

* Facebook, Gilead Sciences, O'Reilly Automotive report results after the bell.

* Oil prices firmed, holding near eight-week highs, as a fall in U.S. inventories bolstered expectations that the long-oversupplied market was moving toward balance.

* Economic data is expected to show new single-family home sales rose to 0.615 million in June from 0.610 million the month before. The report is due at 10 a.m. ET.

* Shares of Advanced Micro Devices jumped 10.5 percent after the chipmaker raised its full-year revenue expectations.

* Beverage maker Coca-Cola pared early gains to trade up 0.2 percent after its quarterly profit dropped 60 percent.

* AT&T was up 2.9 percent after the wireless carrier's quarterly profit topped estimates.

* Amgen was down 3 percent after the biotechnology company's sales for an infection fighter drug came in below expectations.

* Akamai Technologies fell 7.5 percent after the company's forecast came in below Wall Street estimates.

Futures snapshot at 6:58 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 26 points, or 0.12 percent, with 10,721 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 3 points, or 0.12 percent, with 95,446 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 5.75 points, or 0.1 percent, on volume of 13,337 contracts. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)