June 14, 2017 / 12:58 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat as Fed rate decision looms

* Traders see 91 pct chance of rate hike

* Retail sales post biggest drop in 16 months in May

* Oil prices edge lower on higher US, OPEC production

* Futures up: Dow 25 pts, S&P 1.25 pts, Nasdaq 9 pts (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

June 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were on track to open little changed on Wednesday as investors braced for a near-certain interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.

Traders have placed a 91 percent chance of the central bank pulling the trigger on a second rate increase this year. The hike will push interest rates above 1 percent for the first time since the immediate aftermath of the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

The Fed will release its decision at 2:00 p.m. ET (1600 GMT) followed by Fed Chair Janet Yellen’s press conference.

Investors will also be looking for any details on the Fed’s plans to trim its $4.5 trillion balance sheet in the face of improving economic conditions.

“It’s a Fed day and the markets will likely not blink an eye as the FOMC raises rates by 25 basis points,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.

A gunman opened fire on Republican members of Congress during a baseball practice near Washington on Wednesday, wounding several people including House of Representatives Majority Whip Steve Scalise, according to police and media reports.

However, Cardillo said the market seemed “unfazed” by the shooting.

A report showed U.S. retail sales recorded their biggest drop in more than a year in May amid declining purchases of motor vehicles and discretionary spending.

At 8:33 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 25 points, or 0.12 percent, with 7,053 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 1.25 points, or 0.05 percent, with 134,445 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 9 points, or 0.16 percent, on volume of 9,023 contracts.

Oil prices fell on Wednesday after data showed a build in U.S. crude stocks and OPEC reported a rise in its production despite a pledge to cut output.

A rebound in technology shares drove U.S. stocks to record highs on Tuesday. Investors will test whether the recovery holds or if worries about valuations could dominate the sector.

Shares of H&R Block rose 11.2 percent to $30.01 after the tax preparation service provider’s fourth-quarter revenue and profit beat analysts’ expectations.

Aldeyra Therapeutics dropped 18.6 percent to $4.15 after the company said it failed to meet a goal in its conjunctivitis trial. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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