* Futures: Dow down 5 pts, S&P unchanged, Nasdaq up 2.25 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
Dec 14 U.S. stock index futures were little
changed on Wednesday, as investors refrained from making large
bets ahead of the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting
where the central bank is widely expected to raise interest
* The Fed is widely tipped to lift rates 25 basis points to
0.50-0.75 percent. The rate announcement is due at 2 p.m. ET
(1900 GMT), followed by Chair Janet Yellen's news conference 30
* Market participants will be paying close attention to
Yellen's tone and new forecasts, seeking clues on policymakers'
thinking on how President-elect Donald Trump's policies will
impact growth and inflation.
* However, concerns over a strengthening dollar continue
with the dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of six major currencies, hitting 14-year peaks
* "It would seem the promise of government spending in the
coming years has made investors less anxious about the prospect
of interest rate increases, although, as always, it's a matter
of pace more so than the actual act of tightening which is what
makes the press conference so important today," said Craig
Erlam, senior market analyst at online forex broker Oanda.
* U.S. stocks racked up new all-time highs on Tuesday and
the Dow Jones industrial average ended fewer than 100 points
away from the 20,000 mark as a post-election rally showed no
signs of fatigue.
* The Dow has climbed about 9 percent since the Nov. 8
election, with gains fueled by expectations that Trump will
reduce taxes and regulation and stimulate the economy.
* Economic data scheduled to be released on Wednesday
includes U.S. retail sales for November at 8:30 a.m. ET, which
are expected to have risen for a third straight month.
* Other data due for release includes November's producer
price index, which is expected to have edged up 0.1 percent
after staying flat in October.
* Shares of Nordson were up 8.5 percent at $113.50
in premarket trading, a day after the industrial materials
maker's fourth-quarter results beat expectations.
* Tech giants Apple, Amazon, Alphabet
, Microsoft, and Facebook were up
between 0.2 and 0.5 percent. Top executives at these companies
were scheduled to meet with Trump at his New York headquarters.
Futures snapshot at 7:03 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were down 5 points, or 0.03 percent,
with 4,130 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis remained unchanged, with 85,634
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 2.25 points, or 0.05
percent, on volume of 4,879 contracts.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal)