U.S. stock index futures were largely steady on Wednesday as investors refrained from making big bets ahead of the conclusion of the Federal Reserve's meeting, where policymakers are widely expected to signal the withdrawal of the pandemic-era support.
The U.S. central bank will likely announce the tapering of its $120 billion-a-month asset purchase program in its policy statement due at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT).
The statement will be followed by Chair Jerome Powell's news conference, which market participants will be closely watching for views on inflation and interest rate hikes.
Wall Street has largely shrugged off concerns around rising price pressures and mixed economic growth, boosted by a stellar third-quarter earnings season and an upbeat commentary about growth going forward.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq notched record closing highs for a fourth straight session on Tuesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 36,000 for the first time.
"Anything suggesting that the Fed is confident to keep withdrawing monetary policy support following a start today may allow equity investors to buy more," said Charalambos Pissouros, head of research at JFD group.
"After all, they may have already digested the idea that interest rates will start rising at some point soon."
Shares of shale oil producer Devon Energy rose 4.8% in premarket trading on topping earnings estimates as oil prices hit multi-year highs.
Lyft Inc surged 16.1% after the ride-hailing firm reported an adjusted profit for the third quarter and outlined a path to sustained profitability on the back of drastic cost cuts and a return of riders and drivers.
Mondelez International Inc added 1.9% after the Oreo maker raised its annual sales forecast, helped by price increases and strong demand from emerging markets.
T-Mobile US gained 3.4% after the U.S. wireless carrier beat third-quarter estimates for adding monthly bill paying phone subscribers.
Profit for S&P 500 companies are expected to have climbed 40.2% in the third quarter from a year ago, up 10.8% since the start of the earnings season, according to Refinitiv IBES.
At 6:50 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 39 points, or 0.11%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.25 points, or 0.09%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 5 points, or 0.03%.
On the economic data front, October readings on ADP private payrolls, IHS Markit composite PMI and ISM non-manufacturing activity is due later in the day.
Activision Blizzard Inc tumbled 12.0% after the videogame publisher delayed the launch of two much-awaited titles, as its co-leader Jen Oneal decided to step down from her role.
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