U.S. stock index futures were lower Wednesday, after the S&P 500 briefly hit its best level in four years in the previous session. Investors are likely to remain cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve’s minutes due later this afternoon.
Later in the day, the Federal Reserve will release the minutes of its latest meeting at 2pm ET. Traders will be watching to see any signs the Fed may be considering further stimulus measures for the economyorraise interest rates sooner than expected.
Investor sentiment in the U.S. was initially buoyed on Tuesday by hopes that the European Central Bank would set a threshold for yields on bonds of troubled euro zone countries, however markets retreated by the close with a pullback affecting not only the U.S., but European and Asian stocks as well.
A potentially disruptive factor for U.S. markets is renewed uncertainty over Greece’s future in the euro zone. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is set to request a two-year extension to the country’s bailout terms, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel is reported to be reluctant to concede more time for the struggling country.
Analysts have told CNBC that a compromise is the most likely solution to the meetings.
Meanwhile, Japan's exports fell last month as shipments to Europe and China declined, fueling worries over global demand after a string of weak trade figures from Asia's major exporting countries.