Futures pointed to a slightly lower open Wednesday as investors were cautious ahead of a decision by the Federal Reserve on monetary policyand waited for comments from chairman Ben Bernanke.
Stocks finished higher for the fourth straight day in the previous session with the Nasdaq turning positive for the year amid hopes Greece would take a key step to avoiding a debt default.
The confidence vote was passed in parliamentand enables the Greek government to push ahead with tough austerity measures which are key to avoid a default. However, fears that new bailout funds will not be unlocked remain a cause for concern.
Traders will be closely watching Ben Bernanke’s second post-meeting press conference at 2:15 pm ET. Many expect the Fed chairman to talk about why economic activity has slowed recently and expect him to say he sees momentum picking up in the second half of the year.
Bernanke will also likely comment on headline inflation pressures easingand say that core inflation is not a problem at the moment.
“If the data continued to disappoint…then we don’t think the Fed will hesitate on embarking on further asset purchases so a new round of QE (quantitative easing),” Sarah Hewin, regional head of research at Standard Chartered told CNBC.