* HP drops in premarket after results, outlook
* Day two of Yellen testimony on deck
* New home sales data expected at 10 a.m.
* Futures off: Dow 8 pts, S&P 3.25 pts, Nasdaq 8.25 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Feb 25 (Reuters) – U.S. stock indexes were little changed on Wednesday, after the Dow and S&P 500 climbed to their latest records, before a second day of testimony from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and data on the housing market.
* The Fed chair told a congressional committee that the Fed is preparing to consider increases “on a meeting-by-meeting basis,” a subtle change that helps to lay a foundation for the central bank’s first rate hike since 2006, although the timing of the liftoff was still in question. Yellen’s second day of testimony is set to begin at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT).
* Also due at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT) is new home sales data for January, with expectations calling for sales to dip slightly to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 470,000 units after an unexpectedly strong 481,000 in December.
* Lowe’ Companies advanced 2.8 percent to $ 76.75 before the opening bell after the home improvement retailer posted quarterly results, reported same-store sales well above analysts’ estimates and forecast full-year sales above expectations.
* Other retailers expected to post earnings on Wednesday include L Brands, Target Corp and TJX Companies .
* Hewlett-Packard shares dropped 6.5 percent to $ 36 in premarket. The world’s No. 2 PC maker reported flat or lower quarterly revenue in all of its operating units after the close on Tuesday, and forecast full-year earnings well below analysts’ expectations due to a strong U.S. dollar.
* As earnings season winds down, Thomson Reuters data through Tuesday morning shows that of the 451 companies in the S&P 500 that have posted earnings, 69 percent have topped expectations, matching the beat rate for the last four quarters but above the 63 percent rate since 1994.
* Along with lifting the Dow and S&P to their latest records, Yellen’s comments helped push Nasdaq to a 10th straight advance, the longest winning streak for the index since July 2009.
* European shares edged lower as mixed corporate results halted the rally that had propelled both Britain’s FTSE 100 and Germany’s DAX to record highs.
* Asian stocks rose on Wednesday, tracking Wall Street’s gains after Yellen’s comments and Chinese factory data, though Japan’s Nikkei stock average snapped a five-day winning streak and edged down 0.1 percent.
Futures snapshot at 7:22 a.m. (1222 GMT):
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 3.25 points, or 0.15 percent, with 61,610 contracts changing hands.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 8.25 points, or 0.19 percent, in volume of 8,733 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were down 8 points, or 0.04 percent, with 9,761 contracts changing hands.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)
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