Investors were on edge Wednesday as it seems increasingly likely that the U.S. will lead a military strike against Syria.
U.S. stock futures were mixed, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 index dipping lower while the Nasdaq edged up ahead of the opening bell.
All three indexes ended the trading day with gains on Tuesday, but pulled back from earlier highs when leaders in the House of Representatives said they would support President Barack Obama's plan for a strike on Syria.
Obama is seeking approval from Congress to carry out a military strike after saying U.S. intelligence showed that Syria used chemical weapons which killed more than 1,400 people.
Many Democrats and Republicans have thrown their support behind Obama's plan in recent days, though a number of hurdles must still be overcome before the U.S. can take military action.
While investors are more likely to focus their attention on the situation in Syria Wednesday, there are a number of economic reports that could influence market sentiment.
August auto sales will be reported at 2 p.m. ET. At the same time, the U.S. Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book, a report summarizing economic conditions in the country.
Discount retailer Dollar General will report its second quarter results before the bell.
On Tuesday, H&R Block shares were down in after hours trading after missing analyst expectations.
European markets were declining in morning trading, with France's CAC 40 index off by 0.4%.
Asian markets were little changed Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei index edged up by 0.5%, the Shanghai Composite index rose by 0.2% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index edged down by 0.3%.