U.S. stock futures signal flat to higher open

LONDON Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:48am EST

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LONDON Jan 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat to slightly higher open on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.04 percent, Dow Jones futures flat and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.1 percent.

* The Federal Reserve is expected to keep monetary policy on a steady path when it concludes a two-day meeting on Wednesday, though behind the scenes intensive debate continues over when the controversial bond-buying program should be curtailed.

* The Mortgage Bankers Association releases Weekly Mortgage Market Index for the week ended Jan. 25 at 1200 GMT. The index read 894.8 and the refinancing index was 4,916.7 in the previous week.

* Amazon.com Inc shares hit a record on late on Tuesday after it reported better-than-expected quarterly profit, fueled by the growth of higher-margin businesses during the fiercely competitive holiday quarter. Amazon shares listed in Frankfurt were 5 percent higher on Wednesday.

* Automatic Data Processing (ADP) releases its January employment report at 1315 GMT. Economists expect that 165,000 jobs were created in January, versus 215,000 new jobs in December.

* The commerce department releases its advance (first) estimate of Q4 Gross Domestic Product at 1330 GMT. Economists forecast a 1.1 percent annualized pace of growth, compared with 3.1 percent in the final Q3 estimate.

* Boeing will announce results later in the day. Just over a month ago, it was flying high and was confident enough to increase its dividend. But with its new 787 Dreamliner still grounded by two battery failures, the Chicago-based aerospace and defense giant is in no position to rest on its laurels.

* South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co did not willfully infringe on some of Apple Inc's patents, a U.S. federal court has ruled, foiling Apple's attempt to ratchet up the $1.05 billion in damages it was awarded last August by a U.S. jury.

* European shares were flat in morning trading, with investors avoiding strong bets ahead of the Fed meeting.

* U.S. stocks advanced on Tuesday, led by defensive sectors, in a sign the cash piles recently moving into the market are being put to use by cautious investors to pick up more gains.

* The Dow Jones industrial average was up 72.49 points, or 0.52 percent, at 13,954.42. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 7.66 points, or 0.51 percent, at 1,507.84. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.64 points, or 0.02 percent, at 3,153.66.

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