Todd Abrahall, right, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.(Photo: Richard Drew, AP)
Wall Street was on track to eke out some modest market gains on
Wednesday as investors remained on edge over the unresolved budget talks
Ahead of the U.S. market open, Dow Jones
Industrial Average stock futures advanced around 20 points, although
trading volumes were light because of the holidays.
Standard & Poor's futures, a broader measure of investor activity, added 2 points.
Futures on the technology-heavy Nasdaq 100 index also saw slight advances -- up around 3 points ahead of the bell.
just a handful of trading days left before the end of the year,
investors are watching closely for any signs of progress over a deal on
the so-called fiscal cliff, which has eluded President Obama and
lawmakers for weeks.
President Obama is cutting short his
Christmas vacation in Hawaii and will return to Washington late
Wednesday evening in order to push for a resolution to the budget
On Wednesday, Wall Street will also be paying attention to some new data issued on the housing market.
At 9 a.m. Eastern time, the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home-price index for October will be released.
The index, which covers 20 cities across the nation, rose in most major cities in September.
Investors will be watching October's numbers closely for further evidence of a housing recovery.