U.S. stock index futures point to slightly lower opening Wednesday as investor sentiment is weighed down by concerns of the debt crisis looming over the euro zone.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.12 percent, futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index were down 0.09 percent and futures on the Nasdaq 100 index were down 0.14 percent.
Investors are expected to focus on the durable goods orders data to be reported by the U.S. Census Bureau Wednesday. Durable goods orders, which measure the change in the total value of new orders for long lasting manufactured goods, including transportation items, are expected to increase by 0.5 percent in May. Core durable goods orders for May, which will exclude the transportation items, are expected to increase to 0.7 percent.
The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Pending Home Sales Report, which measures the change in the number of homes under contract to be sold but still awaiting the closing transaction excluding new construction, will also be reported Wednesday. It is expected to have risen by 1 percent in May, up from the 5.5 percent decline in April.
The U.S. markets rose Tuesday as investor sentiments were positive after data showed that home prices fell less than expected in April. The S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index in 20 metropolitan areas declined 1.9 percent in April up from the 2.6 percent decline in March. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.3 percent, the S&P 500 Index advanced 0.5 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 0.3 percent.
Investors are expected to remain nervous ahead of the European Union summit in Brussels on June 28-29, in which the leaders are expected to submit a roadmap to a banking and fiscal union for the next 10 years.
Market players will also be focusing on the meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande Wednesday in Paris, which is expected to find an accord on topics like the issuance of mutualized debt and joint bank deposit guarantees and closer political integration.
Major European indices were in green but investors remained watchful of the measures to be taken by EU leaders to confront the debt crisis. London’s FTSE 100 rose by 25.02 points, Germany's DAX 30 Index was up 21.20 points and France's CAC 40 advanced by 12.68 points.
Asian markets rose Wednesday following global cues with market players hopeful of coordinated steps to take care of the euro zone’s debt burden.