U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Wednesday as investors paused following a sharp two-day advance, and as they looked ahead to comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
Geopolitical concerns remained in view after Ukraine's acting defense minister said the country's forces would not withdraw from Crimea after the region voted to join Russia in a disputed referendum.
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a treaty to make it part of Russia, and while no violence was reported as pro-Russian forces took control of part of a Ukraine naval base, investors are concerned that tensions in the region could escalate.
Technology shares will be in view a day after results from both Oracle Corp
The Fed will announce its policy decision in a statement at 2:00 p.m. (1800 GMT), concluding a two-day meeting. That will be followed by Yellen's first news conference as chair.
The Fed is not expected to deviate from its policy path so far, and analysts said a further reduction in the central bank's stimulative bond-buying program was largely priced into markets. Still, as the Fed's stimulus has kept a floor under equity prices, market participants will be attuned to any comments on the speed of future cuts, as well as how soon interest rates might be raised.
S&P 500 futures rose 1.4 point and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 8 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 5.5 points.
Equities have rallied this week, boosted by easing geopolitical concerns, though trading volumes have been light. The S&P 500 <.SPX> has risen 1.7 percent over the past two days, the best back-to-back performance for the benchmark index since early February, putting it just 0.3 percent away from a record closing high of earlier this month.
JPMorgan Chase & Co