US STOCKS-Futures up ahead of Fed statement, after sell-off

* Investors await Fed statement on rates

* Dow Chemical, WellPoint Q1 profits top expectations

* Sprint shares fall after results

* Futures up: Dow 39 pts, S&P 5.2 pts, Nasdaq 8.5

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates prices, adds quote)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, April 28 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures
rose on Wednesday, following a steep sell-off in the previous
session, as investors awaited the Federal Reserve’s interest
rate decision and a statement on the economy.

The Fed is expected to hold interest rates near zero and
repeat its vow of an extended period of very low rates as the
Federal Reserve Open Market Committee concludes a two-day
policy meeting. The statement is expected at around 2:15 p.m.
EDT (1815 GMT). For details, see [ID:nN2298630]

Tuesday’s sharp drop, including a 2 percent drop in the S&P
500, was triggered by downgrades in Greece and Portugal credit
ratings and after a U.S. Senate subcommittee grilled Goldman
Sachs (GS.N: ) executives on the bank’s role in the financial
meltdown, heightening the possibility of financial reform.

“If the Fed says something something out of the band of
expectation, given yesterday’s behavior, we could be in store
for greater volatility,” said Andre Bakhos, director of market
analytics at Lek Securities in New York.

Earnings season continued, with Dow Chemical Co (DOW.N: )
reporting a profit that beat expectations. The stock rose 1.4
percent to $30.50 in light premarket trading. [ID:nN28164681]

WellPoint Inc (WLP.N: ) and Corning Inc (GLW.N: ) both posted
better-than-expected results. [ID:nN28204612] and

Sprint Nextel Corp (S.N: ) sank 6 percent to $3.85 before the
bell after it recorded a wider loss, but met expectations,
excluding charges. [ID:nN28116116]

“As important as earnings are, it appears that for the
moment they will be taking a backseat to the drama unfolding in
Greece and with financial regulation,” Bakhos said.

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) were up 5.2 points and were above
fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into
account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures (DJc1: ) rose 39
points, while Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) gained 8.5 points.

Nasdaq futures were helped by Broadcom Corp (BRCM.O: ) a day
after the company swung to a first-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) that beat
expectations and gave a second-quarter outlook above the
consensus estimate. [ID:nN27114858]

U.S. Senate Republicans offered counterproposals on
financial regulation reform on Tuesday in a bid to water down
portions of a massive Democratic bill. [nN27117703]

In Europe, investors continued to reel from the Greece and
Portugal downgrades, with European stocks falling 0.7 percent
Wednesday morning after a 3.1 percent sell-off the day before.

In Tokyo, Japan’s Nikkei average slid 2.6 percent, dragged
down by exporters such as Kyocera (6971.T: ) that were hurt by
fears that euro zone debt problems could spread. [.T]

Investors also digested Chinese state media reports that
the country would place a moratorium on capital raising by real
estate firms as part of a broader campaign to rein in property
price rises. [ID:nLDE63R03C]

Stock Market Money

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Futures up ahead of Fed statement, after sell-off