NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures remained higher even as consumer prices saw their biggest drop since 2008. Futures perked up Wednesday morning amid hopes the Federal Reserve will leave its rate hike timeline unchanged.
S&P 500 futures added 0.55%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 0.34%, and Nasdaq futures gained 0.54%. Benchmark indexes have fallen for three straight sessions as crude oil prices tumbled.
The Consumer Price Index for November fell 0.3%, a wider drop than the estimated 0.1% decrease. Core CPI, excluding volatile items such as food and energy, increased 0.1% as expected.
The Fed will conclude its two-day meeting Wednesday afternoon with a statement at 2 p.m. EST and a press conference by Fed Chair Janet Yellen shortly after. Investors will be listening closely to whether the central bank removes its longstanding pledge to keep interest rates at near zero for a "considerable time."
"What Fed Chair Janet Yellen says, and how she says it, will be the focus today," wrote economist Stephen Guilfoyle in a post. "[Yellen] will stay vague, and stress the Fed's data dependency. One way, or another, she will move the marketplace this afternoon."
Crude oil prices continued their plunge with West Texas Intermediate down 2.6% to $54.47. Like OPEC, Russian officials said 2015 output would be similar to this year's at 10.6 million barrels a day. Oil prices have nearly halved from a mid-summer peak as global oversupply faces flagging demand.
American Apparel (APP) surged more than 17% after the company terminated controversial former CEO Dov Charney's employment, six months after he was ousted as head of the company. Since then, he had been kept on as a paid consultant.
Darden Restaurants (DRI) was unchanged premarket after beating second-quarter earnings estimates and boosting its full-year guidance.
B/E Aerospace (BEAV) plunged 26% following the spinoff of all outstanding shares of its consumables segment KLX. The separate company will begin trading on the Nasdaq on Wednesday.
FedEx (FDX) shares were down more than 4% in premarket trading after missing second-quarter earnings and revenue expectations. The company reiterated its previous full-year forecast and said it expects a "modest" boost from lower fuel prices.
--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.