NYSE_Wall Street
Traders stand outside the New York Stock Exchange prior to the opening bell on Oct. 31, 2012. Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Stock futures on Wednesday morning indicate that investors might prefer to ease off on the momentum and adopt a watchful stance as attention shifts to the U.S. Federal Reserve and its next policy move.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, or DJIA, were down 0.11 percent and futures on the S&P 500 were down 0.4 percent while those on the Nasdaq Composite Index were down 0.26 percent.

“While a December taper is not a done deal, the November employment report gave the Fed the evidence it needs to announce the scaling back of its Treasury purchases at the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting next week,” Capital Economics said in a note, adding that the “Fed tapering should now largely be priced in. The precise timing may still be uncertain but there can now be little doubt in the market that it is coming soon.”

The next FOMC meeting is scheduled for Dec. 17-18.

The U.S. Treasury's monthly budget report is due on Wednesday at 2 p.m. EST while data on jobless claims for the week ended Dec. 7 and retail sales for the month of November are due at 8:30 a.m. EST on Thursday.

In Europe, stocks were up with the Stoxx Europe 600 index trading up 0.14 percent while the FTSE 100 was up 0.09 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 was up 0.03 percent while France's CAC-40 was up 0.53 percent.

In Asia stock were down across the board with Japan’s Nikkei ending the day down 0.62 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 0.77 percent. The Shanghai Composite index dropped 1.49 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index plunged 1.71 percent. South Korea’s KOSPI Composite index was down 0.78 percent while India’s BSE Sensex ended the day down 0.39 percent.