Futures on major U.S. indices point to a mixed opening on Wednesday ahead of quarterly earnings from top investment bank Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) and key housing data due to be released before market opens.
Futures on the S&P 500 are down 0.10 percent, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average are up 0.03 percent and Nasdaq-100 futures are up 0.04 percent.
Investors are cautious ahead of Commerce Department's data on December housing starts and building permits. Economists are forecasting that housing starts will edge lower to 550,000 units in December compared to 560,000 in the previous month, while building permits are expected to rise to 560,000 units in December compared to 540,000 in the previous month.
A string of companies including Goldman Sachs, Amphenol (NYSE: APH), eBay (Nasdaq: EBAY), Northern Trust (Nasdaq: NTRS), U.S. Bancorp (NYSE: USB), Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) and Xilinx (Nasdaq: XLNX) are due to report their quarterly earnings on Wednesday.
Goldman Sachs is expected to post fourth quarter net income of $3.76 per share compared to $8.20 per share in the same quarter last year.
On the corporate front shares of Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) will be on focus as both companies reported better-than-expected quarterly results late Tuesday.
On Tuesday, US stocks ended modestly higher despite some negative developments with market behemoths Apple and Citigroup (NYSE: C). Apple shares tumbled 2.25 percent in regular trading on worries about CEP Steve Jobs’ health in the wake of his medical leave, while Citi shares plunged 6.04 percent on disappointing earnings results.
The euro advanced 0.526 percent to 1.3456 against the dollar and the yen gained 0.42 percent against the greenback.
Crude oil futures advanced 0.56 percent to $91.89/barrel and gold futures rose 0.32 percent.
European stock markets are currently trading mixed with FTSE 100 down by 6.94 points, DAX30 up by 6.58 points and CAC 40 down by 1.86 points.