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US STOCKS-Futures dip ahead of Fed policy decision
September 13, 2012 / 11:22 AM / 5 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures dip ahead of Fed policy decision

* Fed decision, initial claims, PPI data on tap

* Futures off: Dow 25 pts, S&P 3.3 pts, Nasdaq 9.5 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Sept 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures dipped on Thursday as investors awaited data on the labor market and a possible decision on further economic stimulus measures at the conclusion of a policy meeting by the Federal Open Market Committee.

* The U.S. Federal Reserve appears poised to launch a third round of unconventional monetary stimulus, while signaling that a weak U.S. economy may warrant ultra-low interest rates for at least another three years. The FOMC announces its decision at about 12:30 p.m. ET (1630 GMT) at the close of a two-day meeting.

* The S&P 500 has risen more than 9 percent since the start of June, boosted by expectations central banks around the globe will take action to combat a slowing economy.

* At 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT), the Labor Department will release weekly initial jobless claims data. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 370,000 new filings compared with 365,000 in the prior week.

* The August producer price index will also be released at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT), with expectations for a 1.1 percent rise compared with a 0.3 percent increase in July. Excluding volatile food and energy items, PPI is expected to rise 0.2 percent, against a 0.4 percent increase in July.

* S&P 500 futures fell 3.3 points and were roughly even with fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 25 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures shed 9.5 points.

* Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s Liberals won a closely contested election on Thursday, but he faces the prospect of having to form a government with his arch rivals from the Labour party.

* European shares dipped, edging back further from the 14-month high hit in the previous session, with some saying action from the U.S. Federal Reserve is needed to provide further support to prices.

* Britain’s BAE Systems and Airbus-owner EADS said they are in advanced talks to create an industry giant that would overtake rival Boeing in sales and contend with defense cutbacks in Europe and the United States.

* Asian shares slipped slightly in choppy trade ahead of the Fed’s decision; investors were cautiously optimistic for further stimulus action to bolster the world’s largest economy.

* Wall Street ended little changed on Wednesday, erasing early gains in cautious trading.

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