December 19, 2014 / 2:07 PM / 3 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street set to open flat after two-day run

3 Min Read

* Blackberry falls in premarket after results

* Brent holds near $60 a barrel

* Futures up: Dow 19 pts, S&P 1.25 pts, Nasdaq 9 pts (Adds quote, updates prices)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open little changed on Friday, after the Federal Reserve's most recent policy statement sparked the best two-day run for the benchmark S&P 500 in three years.

The S&P has climbed 4.5 percent over the past two sessions, spurred by the U.S. Federal Reserve's commitment Wednesday to take a "patient" approach toward raising interest rates while signaling it was on track to raise rates in 2015. That provided clarity and relief to investors over the policy outlook, analysts said.

Brent crude oil advanced to hover just above $60 a barrel on Friday, recovering from near a 5-1/2-year low while WTI crude advanced 0.8 percent to $54.54.

"Basically, all we are doing is recovering from the oil-induced selloff, it's kind of coming back to where we were about two weeks ago," said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

"We have digested the drop in oil, we have gotten past the Fed, and now we will see what we will do for the rest of the year."

S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 1.25 points and fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract, indicated a flat open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures rose 19 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 9 points.

Equity trading may be volatile Friday due to "quadruple witching," the expiration of stock options, index options, index futures and single-stock futures. In addition, the rebalance of the S&P 500 is scheduled to take effect after the close.

U.S.-listed shares of Blackberry dropped 7.7 percent to $9.30 in premarket after the company posted a small adjusted third-quarter profit and returned to positive cash flow, but revenue declined more than expected.

Cerus Corp shares jumped 14.5 percent to $7.05 before the opening bell after the company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its blood transfusion device for platelets.

Shares in Ally Financial were up 4.6 percent to $23.80 in premarket. The company said the U.S. Treasury Department will sell the remaining 54.9 million shares of the company acquired under the government's bailout of the auto lender.

Editing by Bernadette Baum

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