U.S. stock index futures fell on Wednesday with more company results and durable goods and housing sales figures on tap as investors seek insight into the health of the economy a day after disappointing consumer confidence data.
The day's earnings calendar includes quarterly results from ConocoPhillips and Coca Cola Enterprises .
Visa Inc , the world's largest payment network, posted a stronger-than-expected quarterly profit, raised its dividend and authorized a stock-buyback plan after Tuesday's closing bell. Shares of Visa were up 1.5 percent at $75.00 in light premarket action.
Health insurer WellPoint Inc reported an 11 percent decline in third-quarter net profit as layoffs among customers prompted lower membership.
Investors will take in September durable goods data at 8:30 am ET (1230 GMT) and new home sales for September at 10:00 am ET (1400 GMT).
The financial sector could be in the spotlight after the Treasury Department is in talks with GMAC Financial Services Inc about a possible third cash infusion to the company, an Obama administration official confirmed on Tuesday night.
A former chief executive of Advanced Micro Devices became the biggest name to be linked to the Galleon Group insider-trading scandal, when the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday that he leaked information about the microprocessor maker in 2008 to a hedge fund manager.
Japan's Nikkei average hit its lowest close in two weeks on Wednesday in the wake of Wall Street losses, while European stocks were down 1 percent in morning trade, after disappointing results from bellwethers ArcelorMittal and SAP dented hopes of a quick recovery in company results.
S&P 500 futures fell 5.60 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 lost 61 points, while Nasdaq futures were off 4.50 points.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq fell on Tuesday as investors booked profits following the stock market's recent run-up, while a weaker-than-expected reading on a measure of consumer confidence raised doubts about spending.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> eked out a slim gain after IBM raised its share repurchase plan to $9.2 billion and shares of Exxon Mobil and Chevron rose on the back of BP Plc's strong earnings.
The S&P 500 is now up 57.2 percent from the 12-year closing low of March 9. At Tuesday's close, it showed a drop of 3.1 percent from its post-March closing peak reached about a week ago.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr, editing by W Simon)