U.S. Equity Futures Hold Steady Ahead Of FOMC Minutes

MarketsDow Jones Newswires

Wall Street was setting up for a struggle at the open on Wednesday, with stock futures little changed ahead of minutes from the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

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Shares of Alcoa Inc. could rise after the aluminum maker's earnings and revenue beat expectations late Tuesday.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJU4) rose 2 points to 16,862, while those for the S&P 500 index (SPU4) added 1.1 points to 1,961.50. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index (NDU4) rose 2.75 points to 3,866.

The only economic event on the calendar -- but still key -- are the minutes of the June 17-18 Fed meeting, due at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Also read: Minutes may shed some light on how and when the Fed will hike

"Investors will be hoping that June's Fed minutes, released later today, will provide some clarity and reassurance that (Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet) Yellen can continue to hold sway over her more hawkish colleagues," said Rebecca O'Keefe, head of investment at stockbroker Interactive Investor, in a note. "However, if the strong employment data we have seen over the past week continue, that may not last."

The Dow industrials (DJI) and S&P 500 (SPX) pulled further away from record levels on Tuesday, driven by a selloff of momentum stocks such as biotech and Internet companies. Each index lost 0.7%, while the Russell 2000 (RUT) sank 1.2%, adding to steep losses on Monday.

The selling isn't deterring everyone. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey's managing director Bob Peck told CNBC on Tuesday that he'd be a buyer of Amazon.com Inc.(AMZN), Facebook Inc. (FB) and Google Inc. (GOOG), after those stocks sold off.

Earnings from Alcoa will grab some attention Wednesday. Shares were up around 2% in premarket trading after the company said it swung to a second-quarter profit late Tuesday.

Shares of Gigamon Inc.(GIMO) sank 30% after the networking-hardware company lowered its second-quarter revenue guidance on Tuesday.

Another big loser could be Container Store Group Inc. (TCS) after the organization-product company posted a loss of 7 cents, a penny more than expected. Alcoa, Container Store, WD-40 are stocks to watch

On the heels of that losing session in the U.S., Europe's Stoxx 600 headed for the fourth day in the red, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng index lost 1.6% after softer-than-expected inflation data from China.

Crude-oil prices (CLQ4) were largely stable, while gold (GCQ4) moved higher. The dollar (DXY) was mostly higher.