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August 21 (Reuters) - Canada's main stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wednesday ahead of an anxiously awaited U.S. Federal Reserve policy report that might end speculation about when by the U.S. central bank will taper its monetary policy.
* Staples Inc, the office supply retailer, reported a drop in quarterly profit on Wednesday, hurt by weak sales in international markets such as Europe and Australia.
* Department store chain Sears Canada Inc posted a profit in the second quarter compared with a loss a year earlier due to lower costs and growth in its apparels and accessories business.
* The home improvement chain Lowe's Cos Inc reported a bigger-than-expected rise in quarterly profit and sales on Wednesday as the housing market's recovery encouraged Americans to spend more on their homes.
* J.M. Smucker Co, the maker of Folgers coffee and Jif peanut butter, reported better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by lower coffee and peanut costs.MARKET SNAPSHOT
* Canada stock futures traded down 0.01 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were down around 0.19 percent to 0.13 percent
* European shares, were down COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 290.0255; fell 0.3 percent
* Gold futures : $1,365.7; fell 0.54 percent
* US crude : $104.42; fell 0.66 percent
* Brent crude : $109.75; fell 0.36 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $7,266.5; fell 0.73 percent CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Barrick Gold : Tanzania-focused miner Africa Barrick Gold, a unit of the company, pinned its turnaround hopes on a new chief executive, appointing industry veteran Bradley A Gordon to replace Greg Hawkins at the helm of the struggling group.
* TransCanada Corp : The company said on Tuesday its 700,000 barrel per day Gulf Coast pipeline project is now over 90 percent complete and the company expects the line to be in service by the end of 2013. [ID: nL2N0GL1TQ]
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Nordion Inc : CIBC raises target price to C$8.75 from C$8 after the company announced that it settled a five-year-old lawsuit with Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for the day
* Major U.S. events and data includes existing home sales