Wall Street was set for a slightly higher open on Wednesday ahead of a Federal Reserve policy statement and following results by food company General Mills Inc, which beat profit estimates.
Later on Wednesday, with the Fed likely to keep interest rates unchanged, investors will focus on whether the central bank will signal any change in a policy that has flooded markets with cheap money. The Fed's statement is expected around 2:15 p.m. EDT.
The Fed will likely say it is encouraged by signs of recovery, but it is just a budding recovery that needs the lubricant of low interest rates to continue, said Jim Awad, Managing Director at Zephyr Management in New York.
They are going to walk right down the middle. I think they might be a touch more optimistic about the economy but not enough to rattle the markets either way.
Awad also said upcoming corporate earnings should be encouraging in general as companies are in terrific shape and you're starting to get a little more movement on revenues.
S&P 500 futures rose 2.4 points and were above 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 gained 7 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 5.75 points.
Ford Motor Co
Chip maker Xilinx Inc shares
Declining shares included AMR Corp
Real estate investment trusts Colony Financial Inc
U.S. stocks rose broadly on Tuesday as investors bet the Fed will stick to its accommodative policy to foster economic recovery.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)