U.S. stock-index futures appear set for a subdued opening Wednesday ahead of the release of durable goods orders data and the new home sales report, amid concerns lawmakers will fail to reach a budget deal to avert a partial government shutdown on Oct. 1.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were flat, while futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.17 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were down 0.08 percent.
The U.S. government faces the risk of defaulting on its debt next month if Congress decides not to approve the federal budget by midnight on Monday when the current fiscal year ends. Investor sentiment was weighed down on concerns about the looming deadlock over the debt ceiling, forcing markets to retreat from multiyear highs recorded last week.
Meanwhile, investors are likely to focus on the release of durable goods orders data at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Analysts polled by Bloomberg predict that durable goods orders, which measure the change in the total value of new orders, may decrease 0.5 percent in August, after dropping 7.3 percent in the previous month. The core durable goods orders for August, which will exclude transportation items, is expected to increase 0.1 percent after declining 0.6 percent in August.
Investors are also expected to focus on August new home sales data, to be released by the U.S. Census Bureau at 10 a.m. EDT. Analysts expect new home sales -- the annualized number of new single-family homes that were sold during the previous month -- to have increased to 425,000 in August from 394,000 in the previous month.
In Europe, markets traded lower on Wednesday, tracking losses in the U.S. markets from the previous session, with the Stoxx Europe 600 index trading down 0.31 percent, London’s FTSE 100 down 0.31 percent, Germany's DAX 30 down 0.4 percent and France's CAC 40 trading down 0.43 percent.
In Asia, markets traded mostly down with Japan’s Nikkei ending down 0.76 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rallied to end 0.8 percent up. In China, the Shanghai Composite index ended down 0.41 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.13 percent. South Korea’s Kospi Composite index lost 0.45 percent and India’s BSE Sensex ended down 0.32 percent.