* China exports miss expectations
* Minutes from Fed's June meeting due
* Family Dollar rises after earnings
* Futures: Dow up 15 pts, S&P off 0.1 pt, Nasdaq up 1 pt
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, July 10 U.S. stocks were set to open
little changed on Wednesday, following weaker-than-expected data
from China and as investors awaited the release of minutes from
the Federal Reserve's June meeting.
China warned on Wednesday of a "grim" outlook for trade
after data showed exports fell 3.1 percent in June against
forecasts for a rise of 4 percent. However, the data fueled
speculation the China's central bank may ease policy in an
effort to boost growth.
Later in the session at 2:00 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), the
minutes from the June 18-19 meeting of the U.S. Federal Open
Market Committee will be released and perused by investors for
any signs of the central bank's plan to trim its bond buying
"Folks will definitely be focusing on that; if nothing else
it will be a reminder of what we heard a couple of weeks from
the Fed in terms of the direction of the quantitative easing
program and (let's) see if we can get any additional insights
into timing of that," said Paul Mangus, head of equity research
and strategy at Wells Fargo Private Bank in Charlotte, North
The S&P 500 has risen 2.4 percent over the past four
sessions, pushing the benchmark S&P index to within 1 percent of
its all-time closing high May 21 of 1,669.16.
S&P 500 futures slipped 0.1 point and were slightly
below 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 added
15 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 1 point.
Family Dollar Stores Inc rose 2.9 percent to $65.80
in premarket trade after the discount chain posted quarterly
According to Thomson Reuters data through Tuesday morning,
analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to grow 2.9 percent in the
latest quarter from a year ago, while revenue is forecast to
increase 1.5 percent from a year ago.
"Estimates have come down pretty sharply since March so
expectations aren't that high; you may actually have some
positive surprises this quarter because expectations are so
low," said Mangus.
Nabors Industries Ltd fell 5.1 percent to $15.19
before the opening bell after the owner of the world's largest
land-drilling rig fleet, warned on Tuesday that its
second-quarter operating profit would fall short of market
Fastenal Co slipped 1.2 percent to $46.65 in light premarket
trade after the industrial and construction supply company
posted second-quarter earnings that matched Wall Street
After the close, earnings are expected from fast-food
restaurant operator Yum Brands Inc.
At 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT), the Commerce Department releases
wholesale inventories for May. Economists in a Reuters survey
forecast inventories to have risen 0.3 percent versus an
increase of 0.2 percent in April.