Stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 up 0.04 percent to 0.2 percent.
At 12:30 p.m. ET, the Federal Open Market Committee will release a statement on the interest rate policy. In a Reuters poll, dealers expect the fed funds rate will remain in the 0.0 percent to 0.25 percent range. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold media briefing at 1815 GMT.
Bernanke will likely use his first-ever news conference on monetary policy to hammer home the case for a patient approach to withdrawing the central bank's extensive support for the U.S. economy. He will face the press in the first regularly scheduled news conference by a Fed chairman in the central bank's 97-year history.
The dollar fell broadly, marking a fresh nadir against the Swiss franc and a 29-year trough against the Australian dollar. Crude oil prices also declined as investors awaited details of the Fed's assessment of the economy.
Major companies reporting results include Boeing
At 1230 GMT, Commerce Department releases March durable goods orders. Economists expect a 2.0 percent increase in orders versus a 0.6 percent drop in February.
Johnson & Johnson
Mortgage Bankers Association releases at 1100 GMT Weekly Mortgage Market Index for the week ended April 22, versus the prior week. The mortgage market index read 467.5 and the refinancing index was 1,975.2 in the previous week.
Nasdaq OMX Group
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago releases at 1230 GMT its Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index for March. The index read 83.3 in the prior month.
At 1500 GMT, Labor Department issues annual revisions to Employment Cost Index.
Shares in Amazon
Tokyo stocks <.N225> gained 1.4 percent after a batch of Japanese and U.S. corporate earnings came in better than expected, but the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares fell 0.2 percent.
On Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI>, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> and the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 0.8 to 0.9 percent. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Louise Heavens)