* Amazon rallies in premarket as revenue rises
* S&P 500 on track for best month since October 2011
* Data awaited on GDP, private employment
* Fed concludes meeting, no change in policy seen
* Futures: Dow flat, S&P down 0.3 pt, Nasdaq up 2.5 pts
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Jan 30 U.S. stock index futures were
flat on Wednesday as investors digested recent gains and awaited
a new round of key U.S. economic data, though Amazon surged
after its earnings results.
* Equities have soared in recent weeks, with the S&P 500
rising for nine of the past 10 sessions. The Dow Jones
industrial average has been flirting with 14,000, a level it
hasn't seen since October 2007. Many analysts have said markets
may need to take a pause at current levels.
* Amazon.com Inc was the latest high-profile name
to rally after results, rising 8.8 percent to $283.30 in
premarket trading after the online retailer late on Tuesday
reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and posted
revenue that jumped 22 percent.
* Investors are looking ahead to a first read on
fourth-quarter economic growth, with the release of gross
domestic product data at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) Analysts see a 1.1
percent annualized pace of growth, down from the 3.1 percent in
the third quarter.
* Growth likely slowed in the quarter on the impact of
superstorm Sandy, as well as uncertainty stemming from the
"fiscal cliff" debate in Washington, D.C.
* Traders will also look to the January ADP employment
report, which is expected to show 165,000 private-sector jobs
were created in the month, down from 215,000 in December. The
report precedes the closely watched nonfarm payroll report on
Friday, which is expected to show modest but steady job growth.
* Dow component Boeing Co is on tap to report, and
the results will be scoured not only for details about the
company's recent difficulties with its Dreamliner passenger jet,
but also about the industrial space. Facebook Inc reports
results after the market closes.
* Thomson Reuters data showed that of the 174 companies in
the S&P 500 that have reported earnings this season, 68.4
percent have been above analyst expectations, which is a higher
proportion than over the past four quarters and above the
average since 1994.
* S&P 500 futures fell 0.3 point but remained 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 were flat
and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 2.5 points.
* The S&P has been hovering around 1,500, a level market
technicians say is an inflection point that will determine the
overall direction in the near term. The benchmark index is on
track to post its best monthly performance since October 2011 as
investors poured $55 billion in new cash into stock mutual funds
and exchange-traded funds in January, the biggest monthly inflow
* The Federal Reserve concludes a two-day meeting on
Wednesday, and while the central bank is expected to keep
monetary policy on a steady path, intensive debates continue
behind the scenes over when the controversial bond-buying
program should be curtailed.
* 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.