Stock index futures signal losses ahead of Fed

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Stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Tuesday ahead of the outcome of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.58 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.52 percent and Nasdaq 100 down 0.67 percent at 4:45 a.m. EDT.

The Federal Reserve may send a clear signal it is prepared to print more money to support a faltering economic recovery if necessary.

The central bank is widely expected to renew its vow to keep rates near zero for an extended period and markets will watch closely for signs officials are growing more concerned the recovery is at risk or that there is danger of falling into a damaging vicious cycle of falling prices and slowing growth.

Asian and European shares dropped on Tuesday, trimming recent strong gains ahead of the Fed and following the release of disappointing Chinese import data that also hit commodity prices.

The dollar rose against major currencies on Tuesday as traders trimmed short positions, awaiting the Federal Reserve's policy meeting amid speculation of further easing to shore up a flagging U.S. economy.

Tech shares will be in the spotlight after top contract chipmaker TSMC <2330.TW> posted record monthly sales for a fourth month on strong demand for technology products, while its sales and profit could peak in the current quarter and a supply glut looms.

Industrial conglomerate Eaton Corp expects to achieve its 2010 China sales target of $1 billion, its chief executive said on Tuesday.

InterContinental Hotels , the world's biggest hotelier, reported a recovery in the hotel market helped by the return of the business traveler as it beat forecasts with a 22 percent rise in first-half profit.

Exxon Mobil has formally ended a deal with state-funded Qatar Petroleum (QP) to develop a new $6 billion petrochemicals facility in Ras Laffan, according to Middle East Economic Digest.

Economic data on tap on Tuesday includes wholesale trade for June, while corporate results due on Tuesday include Walt Disney , JA Solar Holdings and Semiconductor Manufacturing .

Shares of Novell Inc sank 6 percent to $5.65 in extended trading on Monday after the company revised its third-quarter outlook.

U.S. stocks rose on Monday in the quietest session of the year on speculation that the Federal Reserve would signal potential steps to boost the sluggish economic recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 45.19 points, or 0.42 percent, at 10,698.75. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 6.15 points, or 0.55 percent, at 1,127.79. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 17.22 points, or 0.75 percent, at 2,305.69.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; editing by Simon Jessop)

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