Stock index futures were little changed on Wednesday as investors turned cautious before news from the Federal Reserve, offsetting gains in computer maker Dell and a rebound in commodity prices.
The Federal Open Market Committee will release minutes of its April 26-27 meeting at 2 p.m. (1800 GMT). Investors will look for hints about the Fed's stimulus program known as QE2, which is widely expected to end in June, and will scrutinize any disagreements among members of the committee.
Investors are also cautious about the economic outlook after Tuesday's data showing weakness in factory output and housing starts.
I don't think the Fed's statement will change very much (from the previous one) and that will probably take the market a bit higher as it calms fears that second-quarter growth is going to be below consensus, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York.
S&P 500 futures fell 0.6 point and were slightly below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 2 points while Nasdaq 100 futures fell 3 points.
The S&P 500 <.SPX> and the Dow <.DJI> dipped below their 50-day moving averages on Tuesday, but the weakness prompted some bargain hunting, which helped shares recoup some losses in late trade.
In other earnings news, Staples Inc's
Abercrombie & Fitch Co
Analysts expect an initial public offering by social networking firm LinkedIn to be a success although they said it carries a number of risks. The IPO is set to be priced on Wednesday.
After two days of losses, oil rebounded more than $1 to above $111 a barrel, supported by a surprise drop in U.S. gasoline inventories and a weaker dollar.
(Reporting by Angela Moon, Editing by Kenneth Barry)