Stock index futures pointed to a flat opening on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.06 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.07 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.02 percent at 4.30 a.m. EDT.
European shares <.FTEU3> slipped on Wednesday morning, down for the third day running, while the euro and Spanish and Italian bonds came under fresh pressure as economic anxiety was compounded by the euro zone's struggle against its debt crisis and by concerns over the earnings season.
Aluminum major Alcoa will be in focus after kicking off the earnings season late on Tuesday, posting a quarterly profit before exceptional items that beat analyst expectations, but warning about a "slight slowdown" in some regions and end markets. Shares in the company traded in Frankfurt were down 2.3 percent.
KFC parent Yum Brands Inc will also be in the spotlight after raising its full-year outlook late on Tuesday, with sales in China holding up despite a cooling of economic growth in that market, the company's largest.
Chevron Corp warned that third-quarter profits would be "substantially lower" than the previous quarter's as a hurricane and maintenance curbed its oil and gas output and a fire hit its refining arm.
The U.S. warehouse chain Costco Wholesale Corp posted a 27 percent jump in fourth quarter profit, as sales continued to rise and it got a lift from higher membership fees.
FedEx Corp said on Tuesday it plans to sharply cut costs at its underperforming express air freight and services divisions, seeking to improve profits at those operations by $1.7 billion over the next four years.
Shares in the Dutch delivery group TNT Express fell as much as 2.5 percent on Wednesday after the Financial Times reported the European Union would object to American rival UPS's 5.2 billion euro ($6.7 billion) bid for TNT.
Best Buy Co Inc's chief financial officer, James Muehlbauer, is leaving the embattled retailer after more than a decade, the company said on Tuesday.
U.S. engine maker Cummins Inc cut its full-year revenue forecast by $1 billion to $17 billion, citing a weakening global economy. It said it expects to cut up to 1,500 jobs by the end of the year.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc has approached U.S. regulators to seek changes in the Volcker rule as it looks at preserving its merchant banking unit, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Boeing Co is on course to achieve a difficult production target for its fuel-efficient 787 Dreamliner jets, an executive said on Wednesday, after falling behind its initial delivery schedule due to development delays.
The U.S. government filed a civil mortgage fraud lawsuit on Tuesday against Wells Fargo & Co , the latest legal volley against big banks for their lending during the housing boom.
U.S. premium denim maker True Religion Apparel Inc is expected to announce on Wednesday that it is putting itself up for sale and has fielded buyout proposals from private equity firms and apparel industry companies, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting a person familiar with the matter.
Short interest on the New York Stock Exchange was down 3.1 percent in the second half of September from the first half, the exchange said on Tuesday.
U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday, led by losses in technology, after brokerage downgrades of Intel and other major companies as worries increased about third-quarter U.S. earnings.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> fell 110.12 points, or 0.81 percent, to 13,473.53 at the close. The S&P 500 <.SPX> lost 14.40 points, or 0.99 percent, to 1,441.48. The Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> dropped 47.33 points, or 1.52 percent, to close at 3,065.02.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Kevin Liffey)
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