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US futures point to a slightly higher open, ahead of data, Fed minutes

Key Points
  • Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's last meeting are due out at 2 p.m. ET

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a mixed to slightly higher open Wednesday, as investors geared up for another fresh batch of data and awaited the latest minutes release by the Federal Reserve.

Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 50 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 3.25 points and 9.75 points, respectively.

In the previous trading session, U.S. equities finished in positive territory, as a rally in technology stocks helped boost sentiment. Concerns surrounding tax reform in the U.S. have also eased in recent sessions.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on November 18, 2014 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images News | Getty Images

On Monday, U.S. President Donald Trump said before a Cabinet meeting that the administration was going to "give the American people a huge tax cut for Christmas", according to the Associated Press.

Concerns still linger on Wall Street as to whether a deal will come about and finalized by the end of the year, however.

Investors will also be keeping an eye on the publication at 2 p.m. ET Wednesday of the latest minutes from the last FOMC meeting, which took place from October 31 to November 1.

While the U.S. central bank left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at the previous meeting, the Fed did, however, maintain positive language on the current state of the U.S. economy.

Investors will likely be poring over the minutes for any indications as to what the Federal Reserve may do in the coming months, and what it currently thinks of the health of the U.S. economy.

Looking to data, mortgage applications rose 5 percent last week. Jobless claims and durable goods orders are due at 8:30 a.m. ET. Consumer sentiment is then set to come out at 10 a.m. ET.

Deere reported better-than-expected earnings, sending its stock higher by 3.1 percent in the premarket.

Looking to markets in other regions, European stocks rose while markets in Asia ended the session mostly higher. Meanwhile, energy prices rose Wednesday as ongoing cuts of piped Canadian crude to the U.S. boosted sentiment.