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Stock Futures Cautious While Apple Gains Ground

Tickers in this article: AAPL DG HAIN JCP ^DJI ^GSPC ^IXIC

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were trading cautiously Wednesday as investors remained on edge on increasing signs of support for U.S. military intervention in Syria.

Futures for the S&P 500 were down 2.25 points, or 1.32 points below fair value, to 1,636.75. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were falling 30 points, or 23.96 points below fair value, to 14,797. Futures for the Nasdaq were up 4.75 points, or 0.06 points below fair value, to 3,091.25.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee members on Tuesday evening negotiated a proposal to implement a deadline of 60 days for U.S. military strikes against Syria. It also includes the possibility of one extension of 30 days. The panel is expected to vote Wednesday on the draft resolution allowing U.S. military action in Syria. If it is passed, the full Senate will cast votes the following week.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, meanwhile, said in a TV interview in Moscow that he hasn't ruled out supporting a U.S.-led military strike provided there is more evidence of chemical attacks carried out by Bashar al-Assad's government.

In economic news, the U.S. trade deficit widened to $39.1 billion in July from a downwardly revised $34.5 billion in June amid higher non-petroleum imports, the Census Bureau reported Wednesday.

"Overall, despite the disappointing headline print, the improvement in non-petroleum imports offers an encouraging glimpse on the tone of domestic demand and U.S. economic activity more generally," Millan Mulraine, a senior economist at TD Securities in New York, wrote in a note. "Nevertheless, the weakness in global demand continues to underscore the weak global backdrop that continues to be fairly unsupportive to U.S. growth."

U.S. mortgage applications rose by 1.3% in the week of Aug. 31 from the previous week thanks to a dip in interest rates, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

At 2 p.m. EDT, the Fed will release its September Beige Book of anecdotal findings on economic conditions from each of the Fed's 12 districts. The report will arrive about two weeks before the next Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

August auto and truck sales numbers are expected at 2 p.m. from the Commerce Department.

Also, some Fed members are expected to speak Wednesday. At 12:30 p.m., San Francisco Fed Bank President John Williams will begin speaking about the economy and monetary policy in Portland, Oregon.

Beginning at 8 p.m., Minneapolis Fed President Narayana Kocherlakota will appear at a town hall forum in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

A handful of stocks were in focus Wednesday.

Apple shares were climbing 2.02% to $498.23 in premarket trading. The tech giant sent invites for an event in California on Sept. 10, presumably to announce the iPhone 5S. Now, it's sent out an invite for the day after, in China. The event in China is scheduled to take place at Beijing's World Trade Center, and it's important since this is the first time Apple has ever held an event specifically for the Chinese media.