* Fed to announce monetary policy decision at 12:30 p.m. ET
* Fed set to keep buying $85 bln per month in assets
* Futures up: S&P 2 pts, Dow 14 pts, Nasdaq 6.75 pts
NEW YORK, Dec 12 U.S. stock index futures edged
higher on Wednesday, setting Wall Street up for a sixth day of
gains, as investors anticipated the U.S. Federal Reserve will
announce a new round of bond buying to support the economy.
* The Fed is expected to unveil a fresh round of bond buying
on Wednesday as part of efforts to support a fragile economic
recovery threatened by political wrangling over the government's
budget. The monetary policy committee's decision is expected
around 12:30 p.m. ET (1730 GMT)
* Negotiations intensified to avert the "fiscal cliff" - tax
hikes and spending cuts that kick in early in 2013 - ahead of a
year-end deadline as President Barack Obama and U.S. House of
Representatives Speaker John Boehner spoke by phone on Tuesday
after exchanging new proposals.
* On the macroeconomic front, import and export price data
is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT). Economists in a Reuters
survey expect import prices edged down by 0.5 percent last
month, while export prices remained flat.
* S&P 500 futures rose 2 points and were slightly
above 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 gained
14 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 6.75 points.
* India's government announced an inquiry into lobbying
practices by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. on Wednesday after a
report that the giant retailer had pressed U.S. lawmakers to
help gain access to foreign markets.
* Costco Wholesale Corp posted a 30 percent rise in
quarterly profit, beating expectations, as the largest U.S.
warehouse club chain saw sales rise and got a lift from higher
* Sprint Nextel Corp is in talks with Intel Corp
and Comcast Corp to buy out their stakes in
the U.S. wireless provider Clearwire Corp, two people
familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
* U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday, led by technology companies.
The S&P 500 closed at its highest since Election Day on Nov. 6.