Stock index futures were lower on Wednesday as worries about the euro zone crisis and weak data from China weighed on investor sentiment, putting the S&P 500 on track for a sixth day of losses.
World stocks hit their lowest in six weeks as weak demand in an auction for German benchmark bonds heightened fears the crisis would worsen. For details, see
Debt problems in Europe and the United States have pressured markets, and last week was the S&P's worst in two months. The index has fallen more than 5 percent in its current string of declines.
Chinese manufacturing shrank the most in 32 months in November, intensified concerns about a global economic slowdown. Crude oil fell 1.9 percent on fears of reduced demand from the world's No. 2 economy.
The concerns about Europe continue to evolve, with people now looking at Germany, and this is all complicated by the poor manufacturing news out of China, which is concerning, said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners LLC in New York.
S&P 500 futures fell 9.8 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 91 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 18.5 points.
The S&P managed Tuesday to hold near 1,187, seen as the next technical support and representing the 61.8 percent retracement of the 2011 high to low. The index fell below the 1,200 mark last week.
I think that after all the losses we've suffered the market is oversold, but the fact that we've fallen so far so fast suggests there could still be further room to drop, Pavlik said.
Trading volume is likely to be low on Wednesday, the day before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, when U.S. markets are closed. That could amplify turbulence, which remains tied to Europe's volatility.
Deere & Co
The U.S. Federal Reserve plans to run stress tests on six large U.S. banks, including Bank of America Corp
Investors also awaited a new round of economic data. Initial jobless claims are seen rising by 2,000 to 390,000 in the latest week, while October durable goods orders are forecast to fall 1 percent. Both are scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. EST.
In addition, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final November consumer sentiment index will be released at 9:55 a.m. EST. Economists look for a reading of 64.5, compared with 64.2 in the preliminary November report.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)