US stock index futures paused on Wednesday as investors braced for a hefty interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve for a third straight time.
The US central bank is largely expected to raise rates by 75 basis points to a 3-3.25% range at the end of its two-day policy meeting at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), which will be followed by a news conference from Fed Chair Jerome Powell.
The focus will be on economic projections, which is expected to offer insight into how aggressively policymakers feel interest rates must rise to tame stubbornly high prices.
The S&P 500 has hit two-month lows on fears that the rapid pace of rate hikes could tip the US economy into recession and on growing evidence of the impact of decades high inflation on earnings outlooks from companies ranging from FedEx Corp to Ford Motor Co.
At 5:22 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 10 points, or 0.03%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.5 points, or 0.01%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 12.75 points, or 0.11%.
Meanwhile, shares of US defense companies Raytheon Technologies Corp, Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) and Northrop Grumman Corp rose between 1.8% and 3.2% in premarket trading as President Vladimir Putin ordered Russia's first mobilization since World War Two.