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US STOCKS-Futures slightly lower ahead of Fed minutes

* Futures down: Dow 22 pts, S&P 2 pts, Nasdaq 7.5 pts

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Oct 12 U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Wednesday as investors eyed finer details of the Federal Reserve's September policy meeting.

* The Fed stood pat on rates during the meeting, although three policymakers voted for a hike. The minutes will likely reveal how much of a push there was for a rate increase and the central bank's views on the U.S. economy.

* The minutes will be released at 2:00 p.m. ET (1400 GMT).

* New York Fed President William Dudley and his Kansas counterpart Esther George's appearances at separate events will be carefully watched for their take on rates.

* Oil prices were up 0.4 percent as major producers meet in Istanbul where oversupply could be addressed.

* The markets are likely to be more volatile as the third-quarter earnings season will test relatively high valuations of stocks. The changing dynamics of the U.S. presidential elections and a strong possibility of a December U.S. interest rate hike are the other factors weighing on investors' minds.

* Overall S&P 500 earnings are currently expected to fall 0.7 percent in the third quarter, marking the fifth quarter of negative earnings in a row, according to Thomson Reuters data.

* Wall Street sold off on Tuesday as the first rush of corporate earnings, including those of Alcoa, were disappointing.

* Barracuda Networks shares rose 10.2 percent to $25.70 in premarket trading after the computer security and storage firm's quarterly revenue beat analysts' estimates.

* Apple was up 0.6 percent after Mizuho raised the stock's price target. The iPhone maker's shares have risen for the past six days, gaining in part by rival Samsung's issues with its Galaxy Note 7 phones and its eventual profit warning on Wednesday.

Futures snapshot at 6:50 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were down 22 points, or 0.12 percent, with 22,752 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were down 2 points, or 0.09 percent, with 147,939 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 7.5 points, or 0.16 percent, on volume of 22,405 contracts. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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