Wall Street was poised for a lower open on Wednesday after disappointing results from overseas bellwethers, while investors questioned how much further the market's seven-month rally had to run.
S&P futures briefly added to losses after data showed U.S. new orders for long-lasting manufactured goods rose 1 percent in September, in line with expectations.
In a recovering economy, you'll get three steps forward and then two steps back. That's what you're seeing here, said David Katz, chief investment officer at Matrix Asset Advisors in New York.
We wouldn't read anything into the breather we've been having, and we would use any weakness to build our positions on the expectation that we'll have a strong end to the year.
Japan's Nikkei average hit its lowest close in two weeks on Wednesday in the wake of Wall Street's losses in the previous session. European stocks were down about 1.4 percent after disappointing results from ArcelorMittal
S&P 500 futures fell 4.40 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 38 points, while Nasdaq futures were off 2.50 points.
Investors will also take in new home sales data for September at 10:00 am (1400 GMT). New home sales are forecast to rise to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 440,000 units.
Several technology names moved in premarket trading.
Qwest Communications International
Goldman Sachs raised Texas Instruments Inc
A former chief executive of Advanced Micro Devices Inc
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq fell on Tuesday, hit by a weaker-than-expected consumer confidence report and profit-taking following the stock market's recent run-up, while the Dow managed a slim gain.
The S&P 500 is now up 57.2 percent from the 12-year closing low of March 9. At Tuesday's close, the index was 3.1 percent off its post-March 9 peak reached about a week ago.
(Additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)