U.S. stock index futures wavered on either side of neutral Wednesday after U.S. lawmakers reached a deal to fund the government past mid-January added to expectations the Federal Reserve will start cutting back its stimulus program.
Late Tuesday in the U.S., Senate Democrats and Republicans reached a deal to reduce automatic spending cuts and the deficit levels by $23 billion over two years.
The bipartisan budget agreement still needs to pass a vote in the Republican-controlled House, expected to take place by Friday, as well as a vote in the Democrat-controlled Senate shortly thereafter. Analysts told CNBC they believed the deal would be passed with policymakers looking to avert another damaging government shutdown like the one seen in October.
Investors have also been focused over the timing of a reduction in the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus program and will be looking ahead to the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) last policy meeting of the year, next Tuesday and Wednesday.
Joy Global dropped after the mining equipment company posted earnings that fell short of expectations by a penny a share and reported fiscal 2014 guidance that missed estimates.
Groupon rallied after Wells Fargo upgraded the daily-deals website to "outperform" from "market perform," citing the company's successful expansion beyond its daily deals origins and is taking more market share in the local commerce market.
In corporate news, hotel chain Hilton Worldwide is expected to announce the final pricing for its initial public offering (IPO) after the closing bell.
Weekly mortgage applications rose slightly in the previous week, reversing five-consecutive weeks of declines, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.