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US STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat; Fed meet, Apple report awaited
May 2, 2017 / 12:43 PM / in 7 months

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat; Fed meet, Apple report awaited

* Coach, MasterCard rise after results best estimates

* Fed meeting to begin later today; statement on Wednesday

* Apple marginally higher ahead of quarterly results

* Futures: Dow down 16 pts, S&P down 1 pt, Nasdaq up 4.75 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

May 2 (Reuters) - Wall Street looked set to open little changed on Tuesday ahead of the start of the Federal Reserve’s two-day meeting and Apple’s quarterly report.

The Fed begins its meeting later in the day and while the central bank is widely expected to stand pat on interest rates, investors are awaiting its statement, due on Wednesday, for clues regarding the future path of rate hikes.

“While no one expects any changes to policy, the 500-word statement will probably provide some direction to the dollar,” said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.

“‘Will the Fed acknowledge a slowdown in growth and thus send rate hike expectations lower for 2017?’ The Fed’s statement should be answering these questions, and based on that, traders will act.”

Strong corporate earnings for the first quarter have largely outweighed concerns about patches of weak economic data, including a report last week that showed the U.S. economy grew at its slowest pace in three years in the first quarter.

Dow e-minis were down 16 points, or 0.08 percent, with 13,314 contracts changing hands at 8:17 a.m. ET (1217 GMT).

S&P 500 e-minis were down 1 point, or 0.04 percent, with 79,398 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 4.75 points, or 0.08 percent, on volume of 18,336 contracts.

Wall Street climbed on Monday, boosted by gains in marquee tech stocks, including Apple, that more than offset weak economic data and pushed the Nasdaq to another record high.

The CBOE Volatility Index, a barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, closed at its lowest level since February 2007.

Investors are bracing for another heavy week of corporate reports to see if quarterly earnings will keep on exceeding expectations.

Overall, profits at S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 13.6 percent in the first quarter, the most since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Shares of Apple were up 0.3 percent at $147.02 in premarket trading, after hitting a record high a day earlier. The iPhone maker is due to report results after the close of market.

Dow component Pfizer was down 0.5 percent at $33.60 after the drugmaker’s quarterly revenue missed estimates.

MasterCard rose 1.4 percent to $117.99 as the world’s second-largest payments network’s quarterly profit rose.

Advanced Micro Devices tumbled 12.2 percent to $11.97 after the chipmaker’s second-quarter gross margins forecast raised some concerns.

Coach rose 6.5 percent to $41.25 after the handbag maker reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit.

Angie’s List soared 56.2 percent to $9.20 after IAC/InterActiveCorp said it would buy the consumer review website operator. IAC was up 10.5 percent at $93.01. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)

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