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Wall Street set for a higher open as investors look to Fed minutes

A trader looks up at a monitor while working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Jin Lee | Bloomberg | Getty Images

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a positive open on Wednesday, as investors shifted their attention to the upcoming FOMC minutes.

Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 48 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite futures advanced 4.75 points and 14.25 points, respectively.

While a new batch of economic data is set to be released on Wednesday, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes for the U.S. central bank's July meeting are set to take center stage during trade.

Set to come out at 2 p.m. ET, investors will pore through the meeting's minutes to see what the Federal Reserve currently thinks about the state of the U.S. economy, and where their strategy could be heading.

According to the CME Group's FedWatch tool, chances for a rate hike in December were about 45 percent.

Some investors remain skeptical about another rate hike coming this year given the recent weak inflation data. Inflation is a key component used by the Federal Reserve to determine their course of monetary policy.

Aside from the Fed, housing starts for July totaled 1.155 million, well below the expected 1.22 million. Mortgage applications rose just 0.1 percent last week on a seasonally adjusted basis.

In financial news, Tencent Holdings and Target are some of the companies that reported quarterly earnings before the bell.

On the commodities front, oil prices posted slight gains on Wednesday, supported by a drop in U.S. crude inventories, yet oversupply concerns continue to weigh on sentiment.

At 8:35 a.m. ET, U.S. crude hovered around $47.68 per barrel, while Brent stood around $51.01.

In Europe, stocks were trading higher, while Asia markets finished trade on a mostly positive note.

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