Futures Creep Higher Ahead of Rate Decision

US stock index futures pushed higher Wednesday, after stocks closed lower Tuesday as a result of weak housing data.

Investors will focus on an announcement in the afternoon from the Federal Reserve, following its two-day meeting on monetary policy, with many analysts saying that rates will remain at record lows for a long time.

Asian stocks slid Wednesday on the back of the weak data and on worries about the fragility of the global economic recovery. Optimism over China's promise to make the yuan more flexible faded after Chinese state banks bought dollars.

The Nikkei dropped 1.9 percent to a one-week closing low, sliding towards a key support level, as the technical picture turned increasingly dark and worries about the euro zone flared up again.

Britain announced its steepest cuts in decades Tuesday, aiming to sharply reduce public debt, with deep cuts expected to public services, as well as higher sales taxes, higher capital gains taxes and a “bank tax” levy implemented in the near-term.

On Wednesday, billionaire investor George Soros warned that Germany risks causing the collapse of the euro with its austerity policies.

European shares slipped as miners declined amid worries about global growth, although investors appeared more positive on the outlook for the U.K.

BP’s CEO Tony Hayward has relinquished his role managing the company’s response to the spill to Robert Dudley, a former Mississippi resident who has plenty of experience repairing acrimonious relationships. US-traded shares of BP rose 1.5 percent in premarket trading.

Crude oil fell 1 percent in early tradingin New York, after a report showed an unexpected jump in U.S. crude supplies, suggesting that global demand remains jagged.

Oil company stocks briefly rose late Tuesday after a U.S. judge ruled against a six-month moratorium imposed by the White House on deepwater drilling, but the Obama administration announced that it would immediately appeal, and the gains were reversed.

At 10 am New York time, May’s new home sales are announced, with the consensus forecasting a drop to 430,000 homes from 504,000 sold in April, according to economists at Briefing.com. New home sales rose to the highest level since May 2008 last month, as buyers rushed in to beat the deadline for the first-time and existing homebuyers' tax credit.

At 10:30 am, crude inventories figures are released, and at 2:15 pm, the Federal Open Market Committee will announce its rate decision. Economists are expecting that the rate will be held unchanged at 0.25 percent.

Wednesday’s earnings calendar includes the latest financial results from American Apparel , Nike , Bed Bath and Beyond, and Apogee Enterprises .

Carnival cruise lines reported earnings after-hours that beat analyst expectations but projected third-quarter earnings below estimates. Shares rose 1 percent premarket.

Rite Aid shares jumped 9 percent after the company chain reported a smaller-than-expected loss and affirmed its full-year outlook.

The FCC approved Verizon Wireless's $2.35 billion wireless spectrum license sale to AT&T on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Apple’s new iPhone, its fourth in four years, hits the shelves.