U.S. stock index futures fell on Wednesday on reports of bank lending restrictions in China as earnings reports from a host of U.S. banks increased uneasiness about the state of financial companies.
* Official media and banking sources said Chinese authorities had instructed some major banks to curb their lending over the rest of this month after an early burst of credit. The central bank has also told some individual lenders to increase their reserve requirement ratio by half a percentage point.
* Bank of America Corp
* Morgan Stanley
* Recent results from financials JPMorgan Chase & Co
* The finance sector has done better than anybody else so they are starting to show signs of plateauing, said Barry Ritholtz, director of equity research at Fusion IQ in New York.
* The problem with doing any sort of bank analysis is every since the mark-to-market rules were changed by the (Financial Accounting Standards Board), we don't really know what their balance sheets are.
* S&P 500 futures fell 6.9 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 lost 49 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 11 points.
* Data on tap for Wednesday includes producer prices , housing starts and building permits for December, all due at 8:30 a.m.
* Tech shares will garner attention after IBM Corp
IBM shares shed 1.8 percent to $131.70 in premarket trade.
* European shares fell on Wednesday, led by miners on mounting concerns about China reining in loose monetary policy, though drugmakers gained on doubts over U.S. healthcare reform.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)