New York - US stock index futures were little changed on Wednesday after the S&P 500 notched two straight days of gains and ahead of the release of minutes from the most recent meeting of the Federal Reserve.
Investors will peruse the Fed minutes, which will be released at 2:00 p.m. (20:00 SA time), for clues on how soon the central bank plans to hike interest rates.
The US bourse is set to open higher as European leaders get ready to meet. Credit: REUTERS
At a two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee in July, the Fed had trimmed its monthly bond-buying program by an additional $10 billion (R107 billion).
An annual meeting of top central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, from Thursday through Saturday will also be eyed for possible insight into the path for US monetary policy.
The benchmark S&P 500 closed Tuesday within 10 points of its all-time intraday high of 1,991.39 reached on July 24, while the Nasdaq Composite extended gains and ended the session at yet another 14-year high.
Lowe's Companies lost 3.1 percent to $49.91 before the opening bell after the world's No. 2 home improvement products retailer posted better-than-expected second quarter results but cut its full-year sales forecast.
S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 0.25 point 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 lost 1 point and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 1.25 points.
Hertz Global Holdings tumbled 14.5 percent to $27 in premarket trading after the rental car company withdrew its full-year financial forecast and said it expects 2014 results to be “well below” its previous guidance due to business challenges and costs.
Amicus Therapeutics shares surged 24 percent to $5.67 in premarket trading after the company said its experimental drug was as effective as enzyme replacement therapies (ERTs) for patients with Fabry disease, a disorder that leads to the abnormal build-up of fat.
European shares dipped after a sharp two-day rally, with investors rattled after Carlsberg issued a profit warning, blaming deteriorating conditions in Russia.
Asian stocks were steady after strong US housing data lifted Wall Street shares. - Reuters