Wall Street was poised for a lower open on Wednesday as concerns over debt issues in the euro zone, Japan's nuclear crisis and violence in the Middle East and North Africa persisted.
Wariness before a Portuguese vote on austerity measures and the Federal Reserve's rejection of a plan by Bank of America Corp to increase its dividend will keep financial stocks in focus.
Portugal's parliament was expected to reject government austerity measures in a vote scheduled for 1500 GMT, with Prime Minister Jose Socrates threatening to resign if the opposition rejected the proposals.
"The opposition wants to vote no, and if the budget deal fails, the Socrates government will fall, and hat in hand the country will go to the EU/IMF," said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak & Co in New York.
S&P 500 futures were down 2.5 points, and below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures fell 22 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 6.75 points.
The Fed objected to Bank of America's plans to boost dividends in the second half of 2011 and told the bank to revise its proposal. The stock fell 1.8 percent to $13.64 in premarket trading.
General Mills Inc , the maker of Cheerios cereal and Progresso soup, reported a higher quarterly profit, warned that it expects to pay more for items like grains, meat and fuel next year. The stock was down 1.9 percent at $36.22 in premarket trade.
Adobe Systems Inc posted first-quarter profit above Wall Street estimates late on Tuesday, but the world's biggest maker of design software cut its second-quarter revenue outlook by $50 million, citing an uncertain business environment in Japan following the earthquake. The stock fell 1.2 percent to 432.50 in premarket trade.
The Egyptian stock exchange's broad index <.EGX100> tumbled 8.7 percent on Wednesday after the bourse reopened following a seven-week closure caused by political turmoil. In the U.S., Market Vectors Egypt Index ETF fell 4.5 percent to $15.90 in premarket trade.
U.S.-listed Japanese stocks will also be in focus as further disruptions to supply chains were seen hitting individual companies in the wake of Japan's massive earthquake, with Sony Corp cutting output at five more plants and Toyota Motor saying it would keep assembly lines shut until at least Saturday.
Ford Motor Co , however, said it had saw no immediate impact or disruption from the earthquake.
Japan estimated direct damage from the earthquake and tsunami to be 16-25 trillion yen ($185-$308 billion), making it the world's costliest natural disaster.
U.S. new home sales data for February is due at 10 a.m. Economists in a Reuters survey expect new sales have likely risen to a 290,000 annual rate from January's 284,000.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)