Stock index futures pointed to a weaker open on Wednesday after a three-day run-up and commodity prices flattened after driving the market in recent days.
Shares of health insurers will be in focus ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's speech to Congress in which he will provide specifics about his vision for overhauling the healthcare system.
Gold and oil prices were little changed after gains in commodities helped boost equities in the previous session. Oil slipped below $71 a barrel as OPEC ministers were set to meet and were expected to leave official output unchanged. Gold eased back after breaking through the $1,000 mark for the first time since February on Tuesday.
S&P 500 futures were off 0.30 points and were below 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 eased 6 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 2.50 points.
On the data front, ICSC/Goldman Sachs releases chain store sales for the week ended September 5 versus the prior week at 7:45 am EDT. In the previous week, sales fell 0.5 percent.
The Redbook retail sales index of department and chain store sales will be released at 8:55 a.m. In the prior period, sales fell 0.6 percent.
The Federal Reserve issues the Beige Book, a summary of economic conditions in the 12 Fed districts at 2:00 p.m.
Shares of Microchip Technology Inc
Stocks rose on Tuesday on an uptick in merger and activity, while the weak dollar led to gains in commodities, lifting shares of oil and mining companies.
The S&P 500 index has rallied 52 percent from its multiyear low in March, and analysts still gave an upbeat outlook for the benchmark.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)