Stock futures for the Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 all fell 0.1 percent, pointing to a slightly weaker start for equities on Wall Street on Wednesday.
Microsoft Corp is working on a version of its core Windows operating system for devices such as tablets, according to media reports on Tuesday, and the company said its Windows Phone 7 software is making headway in the booming smartphone market.
Resource-related stocks will be in focus as crude oil prices rose to slightly above $90 a barrel, supported by data showing a drop in U.S. oil and gasoline inventories, a winter cold snap in the United States and Europe amid thin trading volumes.
On the macroeconomic front, investors will wait for existing home sales data at 1500 GMT (10 a.m. ET) and the final estimate of third-quarter GDP at 1330 GMT (8:30 a.m. ET).
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc
Tibco Software shares
Shares in Nike
Investors will keep an eye on geopolitical situations. South Korea announced land and sea military exercises on Wednesday including its largest-ever live-fire drill near North Korea just as tension on the peninsula was beginning to ease after Pyongyang's attack on a southern island.
A divided U.S. Federal Communications Commission banned Internet service providers like Comcast Corp
U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as solid earnings and a flurry of merger activity underpinned a steady upward trend that reinforced investor optimism for the coming year.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> added 55.03 points, or 0.48 percent, to 11,533.16. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 7.52 points, or 0.60 percent, to 1,254.60. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 18.05 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,667.61.
European shares were flat in early trade on Wednesday, while Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> dipped 0.2 percent, backing away from a seven-month intraday high hit earlier, as downbeat comments by the prime minister on the economy prompted investors to adjust positions around new levels.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Hans Peters)