×

Futures point to higher open on Wall Street as investors await Federal Reserve meeting

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Tuesday as traders awaited a Federal Reserve meeting for further clues on monetary policy.

Dow Jones industrial average rose 17 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 2 points and 5.75 points, respectively.

On the data front, U.S. housing starts totaled 1.18 million in July, slightly above the expected 1.175 million. Meanwhile, U.S. import prices posted their biggest gain in seven months.

Later on Tuesday, the U.S. central bank is poised to begin a two-day meeting. The Fed could announce plans to begin unwinding its $4.2 trillion portfolio of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities.

On the earnings front, AutoZone posted better-than-expected results. Adobe Systems, FedEx and Bed Bath & Beyond are among the major companies due to report after the market close.

On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 63.01 points and posted its fifth straight record close. Boeing and Caterpillar contributed the most to the gains. The index finished the session at 22,331.35. While, the S&P 500 also closed at an all-time high of 2,503.87, rising 0.1 percent, as financials led the advancers. The Nasdaq composite hit an intraday record before closing 0.1 percent higher at 6,454.64.

Oil prices hold steady

In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was flat on Tuesday. In Asia, the Shanghai composite in China closed 0.18 percent lower, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 1.96 percent higher.

In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $55.65 a barrel on Tuesday, up 0.56 percent, while U.S. crude was around $50.35 a barrel, up 0.88 percent. Oil markets appeared to hold steady on Tuesday, despite indications of tighter supplies in the Middle East. Iraq's oil minister said his country's oil production had slipped slightly when compared to May and June. His comments followed data showing that Saudi Arabia's oil exports had fallen in June.

—CNBC's Fred Imbert contributed to this report.