Housing starts rose 10.5 percent in November, while building permits rose 11 percent.
U.S. industrial production saw its sharpest decline in more than three and a half years in November as utilities dropped sharply, a sign of weakness that could moderate fourth-quarter growth.
Industrial output slipped 0.6 percent after a downwardly revised 0.4 percent dip in October, the Federal Reserve said in a Reuters report Wednesday, marking the third straight month of declines. Capacity utilization was 77.0 percent.
Flash Manufacturing PMI is also due at 9:45 a.m.
Joy Global posted quarterly results before market open. FedEx and Oracle are due after the bell.
Oil prices fell sharply again on Wednesday, with internationally traded Brent down more than 1.5 percent, or 63 cents, around $37.80 a barrel while U.S. crude fell 20 cents to near $37.15 per barrel.
Oil prices have fallen by about two-thirds since mid-2014, with Brent crude on Monday flirting with its lowest level since 2004 at just above $36 a barrel.
In Europe, equities traded slightly higher ahead of the Fed rate decision.
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U.S. stocks closed higher Tuesday, supported by stabilization in oil prices and high expectations for the first rate hike in nine years.