Futures flat as investors await Fed

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[August 24, 2016]  By Yashaswini Swamynathan

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were flat on Wednesday as investors keep up their wait for Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech on Friday for clues on the timing of a rate hike.

* Yellen's keynote speech will be the main focus of a meeting of global central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The meet, which starts Thursday, has traditionally been used by Fed chiefs as a platform to signal the direction of monetary policy.

* Recent hawkish comments from some Fed policymakers, including Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, have raised expectations that Yellen might signal the possibility of a hike in September.

* Wall Street has been on a record-setting run due to continued expectations for low rates, coupled with upbeat corporate earnings and strong economic data.

* Wall Street closed higher on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq hitting a record intraday high, supported by robust housing market data and gains in technology stocks.

* A report on U.S. existing home sales by the National Association of Realtors is likely to show resales fell 0.4 percent in July. The data is due at 10:00 a.m. ET (1400 GMT).

* Shares of Express Inc <EXPR.N> plunged 19 percent in premarket trading after the apparel maker slashed its full-year earnings outlook.

* Intuit <INTU.O> fell 4.9 percent after the tax-preparation software maker gave a dismal profit and revenue forecast for the current quarter.

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Traders work at desks on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., August 23, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Futures snapshot at 7:01 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis <1YMc1> were up 11 points, or 0.06 percent, with 18,208 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis <ESc1> were up 2 points, or 0.09 percent, with 125,577 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis <NQc1> were up 4.25 points, or 0.09 percent, on volume of 17,798 contracts.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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