Stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wednesday as cautious investors awaited another round of earnings results and comments from Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
Investors will be focused on any remarks on the state of the economy and financial system from Geithner, who is due to speak at 9 a.m. EDT on the Obama administration's efforts to address the recession.
Geithner indicated on Tuesday that most banks have sufficient reserves to protect against possible losses, sparking a rebound in bank shares and pushing Wall Street higher.
Another round of results will be scrutinized for any signs that corporations are seeing the economic slump abating. Banks will be in focus as Morgan Stanley
Wells Fargo preannounced earlier this month that it expects to post a record $3 billion profit in the quarter.
Keeping the spotlight on the financial sector, U.S. banks will be briefed by regulators as early as Friday on how they performed in government stress tests, and the results will be made public later, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing government officials.
There's a little cautiousness ahead of the major earnings, but the market doesn't look like it's ready to fall apart, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York. There's also nervousness about the stress tests and perhaps revisiting Geithner's words from yesterday.
S&P 500 futures fell 3.50 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 33 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were off 3.50 points.
Altria Group Inc
Other heavy hitters due to report results include Apple Inc
Shares of Yahoo Inc
Yahoo was up 2.9 percent at $14.80 before the opening.
The broad S&P 500 index is up more than 25 percent from the early March bear market low after racking up a six-week rally.
(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)