U.S. stock futures signaled early Wednesday that the Dow Jones Industrial Average will open below its recently set record high.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 0.35 percent, while futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.40 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were down 0.40 percent.
U.S. stock markets ended with gains on Tuesday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped 0.69 percent to hit an all-time high of 15,409.39 after sentiment was buoyed following better-than-expected economic data.
Home prices in the U.S., as measured by the Standard & Poor’s Case-Schiller index, climbed at a better-than-expected annual rate of 10.2 percent in March, the largest annual gain in nearly seven years while another private sector report showed consumer confidence for May surged to its highest level since Feb 2008.
European stocks markets declined on Wednesday as robust U.S. data raised concerns that the Federal Reserve could scale back its monthly bond buying program soon. London’s FTSE 100 was down 1.16 percent, Germany's DAX-30 declined 0.95 percent and France's CAC-40 plunged 0.82 percent.
Adding to the downside, the number of unemployed people in Germany rose by a seasonally adjusted 21,000 to 2.96 million in May, a much bigger rise than a Bloomberg forecast, which pegged the number at 5,000.
"There are concerns that U.S. economic data shows the Federal Reserve could scale back its quantitative easing program which has led to profit-taking by some investors in early trading," Andy McLevey, head of dealing at Interactive Investor, told the Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its growth forecast for China to 7.75 percent from its prior estimate of 8 percent citing weak exports and global economic worries.
The IMF’s cut in its growth forecast for China fueled concerns that the world’s second largest economy is losing momentum.
“The pace of the economy should pick up moderately in the second half of the year, as the recent credit expansion gains traction and in line with a projected mild pick-up in the global economy,” IMF said in a statement on Wednesday.
Asian stocks markets were mostly mixed on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.10 percent, China’s Shanghai Composite advanced 0.12 percent and South Korea’s KOSPI Composite surged 0.75 percent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng plunged 1.61 percent and India’s BSE Sensex ended flat.