Stock index futures edged up on Wednesday after a selloff in the previous session but investors shied away from big bets ahead of Federal Reserve statements on the state of the economy.
The Fed's monetary policy committee wraps up its two-day meeting Wednesday. The central bank is expected to leave the key target interest rate unchanged, but investors will parse its policy comments for any changes in its outlook or its program to buy Treasury bonds.
Other signs about the direction of the U.S. economy may come when retailers, including Macy's Inc
S&P 500 index futures rose 0.60 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 21 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures gained 3.25 points.
But Asian shares retreated on uncertainty about the Fed's views. Chinese stocks sank 4.7 percent to their lowest close in four weeks, while Hong Kong shares slid 3 percent.
* Other economic indicators set for release include the Commerce Department's June international trade at 8:30 a.m EDT. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a $28.50 billion deficit, compared with a $25.96 billion deficit in May.
U.S. stocks fell Tuesday after a prominent banking analyst questioned the sector's recent gains and industry fundamentals. An unexpectedly large drop in wholesale inventories also raised worries about a recovery, but the broader S&P 500 is still up 47 percent from its closing-low set on March 9.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)