Wall Street was set to open flat to slightly higher on Wednesday as caution before a Federal Reserve announcement was balanced against gains by computer maker Dell and a rebound in commodity prices.

The Federal Open Market Committee, which sets interest-rate policy, will release minutes of its April 26-27 meeting at 2 p.m. (1800 GMT). Investors will look for hints about the Fed's QE2 stimulus program, which is widely expected to end in June, and will scrutinize any disagreements among officials.

Investors are also cautious about the economic outlook after Tuesday's data showing weakness in factory output and housing starts.

Stocks are having a harder time picking a direction ... many traders will likely remain on the sidelines until this afternoon when the FOMC releases its latest meeting minutes, said Andrea Kramer, analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dell's shares rose 5.9 percent to $16.83 in premarket trade after the PC manufacturer reported profits late on Tuesday that exceeded expectations. The company also raised its fiscal 2012 outlook for operating income.

But Staples Inc's shares dropped 16 percent to $16.54 before the market's open after the company slashed its full-year outlook on weak demand for office supplies and on higher costs.

S&P 500 futures rose 1.4 points and were about even with fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 11 points while Nasdaq 100 futures fell 1.5 points.

The S&P 500 <.SPX> and the Dow <.DJI> dipped below their 50-day moving averages on Tuesday, but the weakness prompted some bargain hunting, which helped shares recoup some losses in late trade.

In other earnings news, Abercrombie & Fitch Co rose 3.6 percent to $75.80 in premarket trade after reporting profit that handily beat Wall Street estimates. The teen retailer gained market share from rivals in both domestic and international markets.

Analysts expect an initial public offering by social networking firm LinkedIn to be a success although they said it carries a number of risks. The IPO is set to be priced on Wednesday.

Intel's chief executive rejected speculation the world's largest chipmaker might adopt rival ARM Holdings' technology to build mobile chips and said smartphones using its silicon are about a year away.

After two days of losses, Brent crude rebounded and was above $111 a barrel, supported by a surprise drop in U.S. gasoline inventories and a weaker dollar.

(Reporting by Angela Moon, Editing by Kenneth Barry)