Stock index futures fell on Thursday as investors awaited earnings from retail giant Wal-Mart after the Dow and the Standard & Poor's 500 index closed at 13-month highs in the previous session.
Wal-Mart is expected to report higher third-quarter earnings, but Wall Street will mainly focus on the retailer's U.S. sales.During the regular session on Wednesday, shares of Wal-Mart, up 1.3 percent at $52.97, gave the biggest lift to the Dow.
Investors are also eyeing weekly claims for jobless benefits due at 8:30 a.m.
Other macroeconomic indicators include the U.S. Federal budget for October at 2:00 p.m. EST. The federal deficit is expected to hit $150 billion for the first month in the new budget year, headed toward another $1 trillion-plus tide of red ink.
S&P 500 futures dipped 3.9 points and were 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 34 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures shed 6.50 points.
Stocks to watch include network equipment maker 3Com Corp
which soared more than 30 percent in extended trading on Wednesday after Hewlett-Packard Co said it agreed to buy 3Com for $2.7 billion.
Walt Disney Co, Kohl's Corp and Nordstrom Inc were also due to report results.
The beverage sector will be in the spotlight after Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world's largest brewer and maker of Budweiser, increased third-quarter core profit by more than expected as price rises and cost cuts offset lower beer consumption.
(Reporting by Angela Moon, Editing by W Simon )