U.S. stocks were set to open lower on Wednesday after data showed U.S. housing starts fell unexpectedly in October, offsetting strength in the natural resources sectors amid U.S. dollar weakness.

Housing starts dropped to their lowest level in six months, weighed down by a sharp decline in construction activity for both single-family and multi-family dwellings, the government reported.

The data was the latest setback for investors eager for definitive signs that a recovery was gaining strength to justify loftier stock valuations, with indexes at 13-month highs.

The housing starts look bad, and it's going to put quite a bit of pressure on the market, especially after the run-up we've had. This is going to be a good time for investors to take profits, said Dan Cook, senior market analyst at IG Markets in Chicago.

S&P 500 futures fell 1.50 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 slipped 13 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were off 4.25 points.

Technology shares could be among the top drags after software maker Autodesk Inc forecast fourth-quarter earnings below expectations, and business software maker Salesforce.com Inc reported a slowdown in new business.

Autodesk shares were off 7.5 percent at $24.98 before the bell, while Salesforce shares lost 4 percent to $62.98.

But shares of gold miner Newmont Mining Corp jumped 1.1 percent to $53.38, and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc climbed 1 percent to $86.25 as spot gold prices hit a fresh record high near $1,150 an ounce.

The dollar index <.DXY> declined 0.3 percent.

(Additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)