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Futures flat with the Fed just ahead

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Equity traders are looking at a flat to fractionally higher open with all ears tuned in to this afternoon's FOMC meeting and decision on interest rates. Most Fed watchers expect the Federal Open Market Committee to stand pat on any type of interest rate move, and make generally upbeat with regards of an improving economic backdrop.

S&P futures (sp03m) currently show a 1-point gain at 927.30, NASDAQ futures (nd03m) are also gaining 1 point at 1,139.50, while Dow futures (dj03m) are rising 10 points to 8,525.

Stock futures signal a fractionally higher open on the S&P 500 as fair value for the S&P 500 today is $-0.46. That price will not change during the session. HL Camp & Company has their computers set for program buying at $0.34 and set for program selling at $-2.10. Fair value for the NASDAQ-100 today is $1.84.

Not unlike stock futures, Treasuries are flat in their early morning trade. The 10-year Treasury June futures contract (ty03m) is unchanged at 113'220, while the benchmark bond's YIELD ($TNX.X) holds a 3.89% YIELD.

Shares of satellite broadcaster EchoStar (NASDAQ:DISH) $30.66 are this morning's most actively traded over Instinet at $32.65 after the company reported Q1 (March) earnings of $0.12 per share, which was 2-cents better than consensus. The company said revenues grew 23.6% year-over-year to $1.36 billion versus the $1.34 billion consensus. The company said top-line growth came as it added 350,000 net new subscribers, which was well above analysts forecast for a net gain of 250,000 subscribers. Deutsche Securities reiterated its buy rating and $50 price target.

Shares of AOL Time Warner (NYSE:AOL) $13.38 are falling to $13.06 over the New York ECN after the company said media mogul Ted Turner sold half of his stake in the company yesterday. Mr. Turner reportedly sold 60-million shares worth almost $800 million. Just before the merger of AOL and Time Warner, Turner's stake was valued at more that $4.2 billion.

The sale of Turner's stock represents a 1.5% increase in AOL's public float and is equal to three days of average trading volume.

Shares of Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) $15.38 are ticking higher at $15.51 in this morning's pre-market trade. After the close of trading today, the networking bellwether will report Q3 earnings. The average forecast among analysts is for the company to earn $0.14 (excluding items) versus $0.11 in the year-ago-period.

Jeff Bailey

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