Stock futures were mostly lower on Wednesday on day two of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony to Congress.
S&P 500 futures were 0.24% lower, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were flat, and Nasdaq futures slipped 0.15%.
Yellen will address the House of Representatives on Wednesday, a day after delivering her semi-annual monetary policy testimony before the Senate Banking Committee. Yellen played the part of both dove and hawk in her remarks on Capitol Hill Tuesday, reiterating that rate hikes would be gradual but pointing out that it would be "unwise" to wait too long to hike again.
Market expectations for a rate hike at next month's meeting remain slim, but the outlook for the rest of the year is murkier. The Fed has expressed a more hawkish lean in recent months as inflation trends toward the central bank's 2% target and the U.S. economy nears full employment.
"Regarding the outlook for monetary policy, we view her remarks as indicating a low probability of a rate hike in March," Barclays analysts wrote in a note. "We see it as consistent with 'a few' rate increases this year that the chair referenced in her January speech and the committee projected in December."
Futures indicate markets expect a 43% chance of at least three hikes this year, according to CME Group. The chances of at least three moves in 2017 sat at 33% on Monday.
Retail sales in the U.S. increased by 0.4% in January, slowing slightly from a 0.6% increase a month earlier. Analysts estimated sales to increase by 0.1%. Excluding autos and gas, sales rose 0.7%, smashing consensus of 0.3% growth.