Monday's rally in stocks coupled with tensions from the Crimean referendum that triggered sanctions on Russia by the U.S., European Union and Japan, point to a subdued opening while investors could be expected to watch for fresh developments on domestic monetary policy following the conclusion on Wednesday of the first Federal Reserve meeting led by Janet Yellen.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.14 percent and futures on the S&P 500 were down 0.18 percent while those on the Nasdaq were down 0.23 percent. On Monday, the Dow rallied to climb 1.13 percent while the S&P jumped 0.96 percent and the Nasdaq rose 0.81 percent.
On the data front, the consumer price index for February and data on housing starts in February are due at 8:30 a.m. EDT. In earnings, Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) is scheduled to declare quarterly earnings after market hours. On Wednesday, the Fed is expected to release a policy statement at 2 p.m. EDT followed by Yellen's press conference at 2:30 pm.
In Europe, markets were weaker with the Stoxx Europe 600 index down 0.22 percent and the FTSE 100 down 0.2 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 was down 0.53 percent while France's CAC-40 fell 0.15 percent.
In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei-225 rose 0.94 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 moved up 0.51 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng too rose 0.51 percent while the Shanghai Composite inched up 0.08 percent. South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.66 percent while India’s BSE Sensex was trading up 0.14 percent.