* Saks rallies on report it is mulling sale
* Bernanke seen hitting dovish note in testimony
* Futures up: Dow 17 pts, S&P 2 pts, Nasdaq 5 pts
NEW YORK, May 22 U.S. stock index futures edged
up in thin trading Wednesday, ahead of highly anticipated
Congressional testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
on the economy and monetary policy.
* Bernanke is expected to strike a dovish tone when he
addresses a congressional committee at 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400
GMT). Earlier on Wednesday, influential New York Fed President
William Dudley reinforced his own remarks Tuesday, when he
damped speculation that the U.S. central bank was preparing to
reduce its monetary stimulus.
* The Fed's ultra loose monetary policy is one of the main
forces behind a rally in U.S. equities markets that has taken
the S&P 500 and Dow industrials to record highs this year.
Dudley's speech Tuesday boosted U.S. stocks in afternoon trade.
* S&P 500 futures rose 2 points and were 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 rose 17
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 5 points.
* Shares of luxury department store chain Saks Inc
jumped 18.1 percent in premarket trading after the New York
Post, citing a source who had been briefed on the matter,
reported that the company had hired Goldman Sachs to
explore strategic alternatives, including a possible sale.
* Lowe's Cos shares fell 3.4 percent in premarket
trading after the second-largest home improvement chain reported
a weaker-than-expected quarterly profit, hurt by
colder-than-usual weather at the start of the spring selling
season and strong competition from larger rival Home Depot
* Toll Brothers shares rose 1.8 percent in premarket
trading after the largest U.S. luxury homebuilder posted a 46
percent rise in quarterly profit, suggesting the housing
recovery is picking up pace across the industry.