Stock index futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.11 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.06 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.17 percent at 0918 GMT.
European stocks slipped from recent multi-year highs in morning trade, as investors turned cautious ahead of Italy's first long-term debt auction since last week's credit downgrade and ahead of euro zone industrial production data.
Tokyo's Nikkei share average slipped for a second session, ending the session down 0.6 percent, as a firmer yen prompted investors to cash in recent strong profits in exporters following an eight-session market rally.
Boeing Co will be in the spotlight after the aircraft maker won approval from U.S. transport regulators on Tuesday to start testing a redesigned battery for the 787 Dreamliner, putting it one step closer to getting the troubled airplane back into regular service.
Asda, the British arm of U.S. retailer Wal-Mart Stores Inc , is considering a bid for collapsed music retailer HMV, the Telegraph reported.
Investors await February retail sales, due at 1230 GMT, expected to rise 0.5 percent compared with a 0.1 percent increase in January, according to Reuters polling. Excluding automobiles, sales are expected to rise 0.5 percent versus a 0.2 percent rise in January.
Business inventories data for January is also due at 1400 GMT, seen rising 0.4 percent versus 0.1 percent in the prior month.
The S&P 500 ended lower on Tuesday, breaking a seven-session string of gains as investors pulled back from technology and financials, but the Dow eked out the smallest of gains to finish at another all-time closing high.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose just 2.77 points, or 0.02 percent, to 14,450.06, another record close. Earlier, the Dow climbed to a lifetime intraday high of 14,478.80.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dipped 3.74 points, or 0.24 percent, to finish at 1,552.48 - about 13 points below its record closing high. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> slipped 10.55 points, or 0.32 percent, to close at 3,242.32.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; editing by Patrick Graham)