US STOCKS-Futures gain ahead of Fed policy decision

Reuters

* Fed expected to continue stimulus amid lackluster data

* U.S. private sector adds 130,000 jobs in Oct-ADP

* Futures up: Dow 46 pts, S&P 2.8 pts, Nasdaq 14.75 pts

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Oct 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edgedhigher on Wednesday, a day after the Dow and the S&P 500 indexeshit a new closing record, on expectations that the FederalReserve's monthly bond purchases of $85 billion will be extendedinto next year.

Shares of General Motors Co rose 1.5 percent inpremarket trading in the wake of better-than-expected quarterlyprofit, thanks to strength in its core North American market anda smaller-than-anticipated loss in Europe.

The Federal Reserve is expected to maintain its massivebond-buying campaign when it concludes a two-day policy-makingmeeting on Wednesday, and may indicate that its stimulusmeasures will be extended into 2014 amid softer readings on theU.S. economy.

A report by a payrolls processor showed early Wednesday thatU.S. private-sector employers added 130,000 jobs in October,fewer than economists expected.

So far in this earnings season, 296 companies representing66 percent of S&P 500's market capitalization have reported.

"All of the 10 sectors have beaten their earnings-per-shareexpectations and the aggregate earnings surprise is 4.5percent," said Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. market strategist atRBC Capital Markets in New York.

S&P 500 futures rose 2.8 points and were above fairvalue, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into accountinterest rates, dividends and time to expiration on thecontract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 46points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 14.75 points.

Shares of Yelp Inc fell nearly 10 percent inpremarket trading a day after the business-search service firmreported a wider third-quarter loss.

LinkedIn Corp shares dropped 3 percent in premarkettrading in the wake of the company's conservative forecastTuesday for revenue for the rest of the year.

Companies due to report Wednesday include Comcast,Visa, Starbucks, MetLife and Kraft.

The U.S. central bank, which will announce its policydecision at 2:00 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), has held interest ratesnear zero since late 2008 and has quadrupled the size of itsbalance sheet to more than $3.7 trillion through three rounds ofbond buying. The purchases are aimed at holding down longer-termborrowing costs.

The Fed shocked markets in September by opting to maintainits bond-buying program, after raising expectations over thesummer that it was ready to start scaling back the purchases.The central bank's caution has since been vindicated.

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