Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq 100 are down 0.2 percent and 0.1 percent respectively, while futures for the S&P 500 share index are up 0.1 percent.

Wal-Mart is expected to report flat first-quarter profit as the stronger U.S. dollar pressures results. But the world's biggest retailer is seen reporting higher sales as customers scour its aisles for low prices on food and other necessities. Analysts expect Wal-Mart to report earnings of 77 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Wal-Mart shares in Frankfurt were down 1.4 percent.

Weekly initial jobless claims data, due at 8:30 a.m. EDT, is expected to have risen by 9,000 to 610,000, underscoring the still fragile state of the U.S. economic recovery.

Producer prices, to be released at 8:30 a.m. EDT, are expected to have risen 0.1 percent in April after coming in flat for March, underpinned by rising gasoline prices.

Department store chain Kohl's is to announce its quarterly results.

General Motors and Chrysler aim to drop as many as 3,000 U.S. dealers and are expected to begin sending notifications as early as Thursday, three people briefed on the still developing plans said.

President Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to promote congressional efforts to reform credit card practices.

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, which sent global markets into a tailspin after filing for bankruptcy in September 2008, is looking at spinning off its remaining assets, the Wall Street Journal said in an unsourced article.

The Swiss government is seeking a quick exit from its investment in UBS, the country's biggest bank, newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung said, without naming sources.

Swiss finmin says the government is still considering what to do when UBS lock-up period ends on June 9.

Shares of Whole Foods Market jumped more than 10 percent in extended trading on Wednesday after the supermarket chain operator posted quarterly results.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; editing by Simon Jessop)