May 2, 2018 / 1:12 PM / 7 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat ahead of Fed decision

* U.S. private employers add 204,000 jobs in April vs est 200,000

* Apple jumps after results, buyback

* Snap slides on user growth concerns

* Futures: Dow off 0.2 pct, S&P down 0.1 pct, Nasdaq up 0.01 pct (Adds details, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

May 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures gave up earlier gains on Wednesday stemming from Apple's forecast-beating results, as caution set in ahead of the Federal Reserve's comments on inflation and monetary policy.

Expectations the Fed will signal more policy tightening ahead kept investors wary of big market moves, especially after currency markets were roiled this week by the dollar's surge to 3 1/2-month highs against a basket of currencies.

Despite U.S. companies being on track to post their strongest quarterly profit growth in seven years, worries about inflation and rising raw material costs have weighed on investors' minds.

Apple rose 3.8 percent in premarket trading after it posted resilient iPhone sales in the face of waning global demand and promised $100 billion in additional stock buybacks.

The company's suppliers Cirrus Logic, Lumentum Holdings and Skyworks Solutions were all up between 2.3 percent and 10 percent, helping the Nasdaq 100 e-minis edge up 0.75 points, or 0.01 percent.

The Dow e-minis were down 45 points, or 0.19 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 3 points, or 0.11 percent.

Recent data showed inflation hit the Fed's 2-percent target, while another set of data showed commodity prices have been rising in the wake of the Trump administration's tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

"Our colleagues expect the Committee to upgrade the inflation language to note that inflation has risen and is near their 2 percent objective," Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid wrote in a note to clients.

"They could also note that market-based measures of inflation compensation have risen further in recent months."

Traders have priced in a 94.3 percent chance that the Fed will raise rates a quarter percentage point in June, according to the CME Group's Fedwatch tool.

Data showed U.S. private payrolls rose 204,000 in April, beating expectations by 4,000, but notched their smallest increase since November. The data comes ahead of the more comprehensive U.S. non-farm payrolls reports on Friday.

A Trump administration delegation including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is set to visit Beijing on Thursday and Friday for talks with top Chinese officials to settle trade differences.

Among decliners was Snap, whose shares plunged more than 19.2 percent after the Snapchat owner fell short of Wall Street forecasts for revenue and regular users. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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