June 13, 2018 / 1:05 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Media, telecom shares lift futures; Fed awaited

* AT&T most traded premarket after ruling

* U.S. producer prices rise more than expected in May

* H&R Block tumbles on lowered EBITDA forecast

* Futures up: Dow 0.13 pct, S&P 0.13 pct, Nasdaq 0.21 pct (Adds comment, details, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

June 13 (Reuters) - A court approval for AT&T’s $85 billion takeover of Time Warner lifted media and telecom shares on Wednesday and nudged up U.S. stock futures ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy announcement.

Time Warner jumped 4.1 percent in premarket trading after the landmark ruling, which is expected to trigger a wave of corporate mergers. AT&T dropped 3.7 percent in busy trade before the opening bell.

Twenty-First Century Fox surged 7.6 percent as Comcast Corp is expected to outbid Disney for some of its assets as early as Wednesday. Sprint, which is looking to merge with T-Mobile, was also up 2.6 percent.

“(The ruling) sounds like it opened the door for consolidation, which should excite investors in that space,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Cresset Wealth Advisors in Chicago.

At 8:40 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 33 points, or 0.13 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.75 points, or 0.13 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 15.25 points, or 0.21 percent.

Investors are awaiting the Fed’s decision on monetary policy at 2:00 p.m. ET. With this year’s second interest rate hike almost certain, market participants will look for signals on whether the Fed will move to raise rates three or four times this year.

“Market pricing is fairly split between three and four hikes this year, so it probably doesn’t require a hawkish signal to correct a mispricing,” Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid wrote in a note to clients.

Investors are focused on how the Fed characterizes its monetary policy as borrowing costs return to more normal levels amid an ongoing economic expansion. Fed Chair Jerome Powell holds a news conference after the decision.

A Labor Department report on Wednesday showed U.S. producer prices increased more than expected in May, leading to the biggest annual increase in nearly 6-1/2 years, but underlying producer inflation remained moderate.

Among others, Netflix rose 0.5 percent after Goldman Sachs forecast that 2018 would be the peak negative-free cash flow year for the company.

H&R Block tumbled 19.3 percent after the tax preparation service provider projected lower EBITDA margins for 2019. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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