* Fed, German Court decision, Dutch elections loom
* McDonald's same-store sales climb, but miss estimate
* Futures up: Dow 37 pts, S&P 4.5 pts, Nasdaq 8.25 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Sept 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures
pointed to a modestly higher open on Tuesday as investors
exercised caution ahead of possible policy action from the
Federal Reserve and a key decision by a German court.
Investors may be wary of making bets on risky assets ahead
of a trio of key events later in the week, which could greatly
impact markets. The S&P 500 slipped 0.6 percent on Monday as
investors locked in gains on a recent rally.
Germany's Constitutional Court on Wednesday is expected to
approve the European Stability Mechanism -- the euro zone's new
bailout fund -- but legal experts believe it will impose tough
conditions limiting Berlin's flexibility on future rescues.
Investors also were awaiting a decision by the Federal
Reserve on any additional stimulus measures when the central
bank announces its policy decision after a two-day meeting on
Thursday. Equities have rallied on expectations for fresh
stimulus measures from central banks, with economists
forecasting a 60 percent chance the Fed will announce another
round of quantitative easing.
Another event which could cause turbulence in markets is a
Dutch general election on Wednesday, with voters divided between
bailouts for troubled euro zone economies and austerity measures
"There is a lot of stuff out there that people are waiting
on right now, a lot of jockeying going on," said Peter
Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments
LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
S&P 500 futures rose 4.5 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 gained 37
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 8.25 points.
McDonald's Corp advanced 0.8 percent to $92 in
premarket trade after the fast-food restaurant chain reported a
3.7 percent rise in August sales at established restaurants
around the world, slightly below expectations of a 3.9 percent
Package delivery companies FedEx Corp and United
Parcel Service Inc have received approval to provide
express-package services in some cities of China on their own,
the country's State Postal Bureau (SPB) said on its website last
Sales of the new iPhone could add between a quarter
and a half percentage point to fourth-quarter annualized growth
in the United States, J.P. Morgan's chief economist Michael
Feroli said in a note to clients on Monday.
Zynga Inc's chief marketing officer resigned on
Monday, becoming the latest senior executive to depart the
struggling social games company behind popular Facebook Inc
games such as Farmville.
Economic data showed the U.S. trade deficit grew slightly in
July, as exports to Germany, France and other European nations
shrank and imports from China soared to a new record.