* Futures down: Dow 15 pts, S&P 2.75 pts, Nasdaq 7.75 pts
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Oct 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower on Monday as investor optimism about central bank easing faded ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting this week.
* The Fed, which meets on Oct. 27-28, is scheduled to issue a statement on Wednesday. Investors will scrutinize it for a bearing on when the central bank could raise rates.
* While Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said the central bank could raise rates this year, it would do so only if there are clear signs of sustained economic growth.
* Traders are pricing in only a 6 percent chance of rates being increased on Wednesday and a 39 percent chance of a December hike, according to CME Group's (O: CME ) FedWatch program.
* Wall Street closed higher on Friday after a rally in tech stocks helped the S&P 500 to positive territory for the year.
* Strong quarterly results from tech companies helped improve expectations on overall U.S. corporate earnings.
* S&P 500 earnings for the period are now expected to have declined a more modest 2.8 percent, compared with 4.9 percent forecast at the start of the reporting season, according to Thomson Reuters data.
* Data on new U.S. home sales is expected to show a decline to an annual rate of 550,000 units in September after two months of gains. The data is expected at 10:00 a.m. ET (1400 GMT).
* Xerox's XRX.N shares were up 1.4 percent at $10.48 in premarket trading on Monday after it reported results and said it would review its operations.
* Valeant Pharmaceuticals VRX.N sank nearly 14 percent to $100.50. The company said it would set up a panel to probe allegations about its associations with specialty pharmacy distributor Philador.
* Ctrip.com CTRP.O rose 14.3 percent to $85.00 after the online travel firm said it would merge with Qunar Cayman Islands. Qunar jumped 26.5 percent to $50.00.
Futures snapshot at 6:59 a.m. ET:
* S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 2.75 points, or 0.13 percent, with 90,125 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 7.75 points, or 0.17 percent, on volume of 16,234 contracts.
* Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 15 points, or 0.09 percent, with 14,195 contracts changing hands.
Add Chart to Comment
We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:
- Enrich the conversation
- Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
- Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
- Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
- NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
- Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
- Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
- Only English comments will be allowed.
Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.