* Fed statement, news conference in focus
* Adobe shares up after results
* Futures: Dow up 16 pts, S&P up 0.7 pt, Nasdaq up 4 pts
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, June 19 U.S. stock index futures were
up modestly Wednesday, holding on to gains over the last two
days ahead of a highly anticipated Federal Reserve statement and
The Fed will release a policy statement at 2:00 p.m. EDT
(1800 GMT), which will be followed soon after by a news
conference with Chairman Ben Bernanke.
"The early morning action is not surprising given the fact
that we've had two days of position jockeying ahead of the FOMC
announcement," said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics
at Lek Securities in New York.
The advance this week so far suggested investors expect
reassurances of continued economic support from the U.S. central
bank. The equity market had been roiled recently by indications
that the Fed's asset purchases would be scaled back earlier than
Even as volatility has spiked in the wake of Bernanke's
comments to Congress May 22, which had triggered investors'
angst over a winding-down of quantitative easing, equity markets
have mostly traded sideways. The S&P 500 is now 1 percent below
its record closing high set on May 21.
"A well perceived statement, and the upside momentum will
continue," Bakhos said. "However, a statement which creates
concern with Fed policy may prove to be a chance for the market
to reverse its recent gains."
September futures for the S&P 500 rose 0.7 point and
were down in terms of 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 16 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures
gained 4 points.
Shares of Adobe Systems Inc rose 6.8 percent in
premarket trading a day after the maker of Photoshop and Acrobat
software reported a higher-than-expected adjusted quarterly
profit and said demand rose for Creative Cloud, the
subscription-based version of its flagship software package.
FedEx Corp posted a larger than expected quarterly
profit as its ground shipment business did well, and the company
saw benefits from lower jet fuel prices. Its shares were little
changed in premarket trading.
Other S&P 500 companies scheduled to report earnings on
Wednesday include Jabil Circuit Inc, Micron Technology
Inc and Red Hat Inc.
Japan's SoftBank cleared a major hurdle in its
attempt to buy U.S. wireless provider Sprint Nextel, as
rival bidder Dish Network declined to make a new offer
after SoftBank sweetened its own bid last week. Sprint shares
fell 3.1 percent to $7.09 in premarket trading.