Futures point to mixed Wall Street opening

* Stock index futures pointed to a mixed opening on Wall
Street on Wednesday, following declines in Europe and Asia, with
some caution expected ahead of the Federal Reserve interest rate
decision later in the day.

* At 1032 GMT futures for the Dow Jones (DJc1: ) index were
down 0.1 percent. Those for the S&P 500 (SPc1: ) and Nasdaq (NDc1: )
were both up 0.1 percent.

* The FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: ) index of leading European
shares was down 0.8 percent at 1,014.88 points, with banks
taking most off the index.

*The Fed concludes its two-day policy meeting at 1915 GMT,
with few policy shifts expected, but investors will be looking
for clues on how long it will leave ultra-low interest rates and
an easy money policy in place.[ID:nN26106537]

* Investors will also watch for new home sales figures, due
at 1500 GMT.

* The U.S. Senate on Tuesday moved to clear the way to
confirm Ben Bernanke to a second term as Federal Reserve
chairman, setting a procedural vote for Thursday in a sign that
the needed votes were now secured.

* President Barack Obama gives his first state of the union
address to Congress at 0200 GMT.

* U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner denied any role
in disclosures about American International Group’s payments to
banks and defended his decisions as New York Federal Reserve
chief to pay full price to retire AIG credit default swaps.

* Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.) (APPL.O: ) is expected to announce a new product,
a day after it posted better than forecast Mac sales and strong
growth in Asia and Europe, although iPhone shipments came in
just below Wall Street’s heightened expectations.

* Software maker Oracle Corp (ORCL.O: ), which is near to
closing its $7 billion acquisition of computer maker Sun
Microsystems Inc (JAVA.O: ), plans to hire 2,000 sales and
engineering employees, the Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday.
Oracle plans to unveil its strategy for Sun on Wednesday.

* Caterpillar (CAT: ), the world’s largest maker of
construction and mining equipment, is expected to report a sharp
drop in quarterly earnings per share at $0.28, compared with
$1.08 in the same period a year ago.

* Boeing (BA: ) is expected to report an improved quarterly
performance, swinging to a profit from a year earlier loss. But
investors will be looking to the 2010 outlook for earnings and
whether there could be plane production cuts to come. Analysts
forecast earnings of $1.36 per share, up from a $0.08 loss in
the same quarter a year ago.

* Firmer oil prices are expected to have helped
fourth-quarter results at ConocoPhillips (COP: ). The company is
expected to report quarterly earnings per share of $1.13 against
$1.28 reported a year earlier

* Abbott Laboratories (ABT: ) will report impressive
growth for its newer medicines, easing the company’s heavy
dependence on arthritis drug Humira and its Xience heart
stent for sales and profit growth. It’s earnings are expected
to have risen by 11 cents per share to $1.17.

* Other companies due to report include investment firm
BlackRock (BLK.N: ).

* U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) slipped late on Tuesday due to trepidation
over churning political and regulatory developments, offsetting
solid earnings and improved consumer confidence data. The S&P
500 (.SPX: ) closed 0.4 percent lower.

* After the bell on Tuesday shares in Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O: )
were briefly up 1.6 percent, as the company reported quarterly
results, but then began to trade slightly below closing levels.

* Shares in Berkshire Hathaway (BRKb.N: ) rose 8 percent after
the close on Tuesday as Standard & Poor’s announced the stock
will be added to the S&P 500, replacing Burlington Northern
Santa Fe (BNI.N: ), at a date to be announced. They were recently
up 5.5 percent in Frankfurt (BRKb.F: ).

* Shares in Gilead Sciences (GILD.O: ) rose 1.4 percent to
$45.50 in extended trade after the company reported a rise in
quarterly profits on higher sales from its HIV drugs and
royalties on sales of the flu drug Tamiflu.

Stock Report

(Reporting by Harpreet Bhal; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

Futures point to mixed Wall Street opening