Wall Street was set for a flat open on Wednesday with equity markets sensitive to comments from European officials as to whether a rescue plan for heavily indebted Greece was in the works.
Investors also awaited prepared comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who is expected to outline the central bank's strategy for withdrawing its extraordinary stimulus measures. His testimony before the House Financial Services Committee will be released at 10:00 a.m., though the hearing has been postponed because of heavy snow.
Worries over high debt loads of some euro zone countries have dented equity markets of late, but U.S. stocks rallied on Tuesday with the Dow racking up its best day in three months after German coalition sources told Reuters European governments have agreed in principle to help Greece.
However, a German government official said on Wednesday no decision had been made on providing aid for Greece and no decision was pending.
The comments helped futures cut earlier gains. Euro zone countries were holding intensive in Brussels talks on Wednesday.
We need to see clear and concrete steps that will be taken in order to get that issue resolved, said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Equity Markets in Jersey City, New Jersey.
It could be the blueprint for how the European Union intends to engage this issue to prevent contagion and resolve it.
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S&P 500 futures rose 0.3 points but 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 were up 8 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 1.75 points.
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(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)