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Stock futures little changed ahead of Fed statement

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[June 18, 2014]  By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Wednesday, after a three-day winning streak for the S&P 500 index and ahead of a monetary policy announcement by the Federal Reserve.

The Fed is widely expected to announce another $10 billion cut to its monthly bond purchases as it wraps up a two-day policy meeting at 2:00 p.m. (1800 GMT), but is likely to make few, if any, other concrete policy moves. Investors will be attuned to whether officials may tip their hand on longer-term plans for interest rates.

The benchmark S&P index has risen 0.6 percent over the last three days, as investors largely shrugged off mounting tensions in Iraq amid a flurry of merger and acquisition activity and better-than-anticipated manufacturing data.

S&P 500 e-mini futures <ESc2> were up 0.75 points and fair value - a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract - indicated a slightly higher open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures  rose 6 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 6.75 points.

Adobe Systems jumped 9.4 percent to $73.90 in premarket trading after the maker of Photoshop and Acrobat software reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue.

FedEx Corp rose 3 percent to $144.50 in premarket trading after the package delivery company posted fourth-quarter earnings.

Endocyte Inc plunged 19 percent to $6.25 before the opening bell after the company said a Merck <MRK.N> subsidiary would no longer pursue development of Endocyte's cancer drug, vintafolide.

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Enteromedics Inc surged 23.7 percent to $1.88 in premarket after the company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Advisory Committee has recommended its obesity treatment therapy.

European stock markets edged up to within reach of multi-year highs reached last week, with insurer Aegon <AEGN.AS> rallying after announcing a share buyback program.

Japan's Nikkei share average rose to a 1 1/2-week high on Wednesday, as the yen weakened on strong U.S. consumer price data, although most Asian share markets were on the defensive.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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