Stock futures pointed to a lower open for Wall Street Wednesday, with investors believing that Tuesday's meeting between French and German leaders failed to make significant progress on the euro zone sovereign debt crisis.
At 5:06 a.m. EDT, futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq 100 were down between 0.1 and 0.4 percent
The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of leading European shares was down 0.5 percent, after the meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy failed to calm worries over the euro zone debt crisis.
After the two leaders announced plans for a tax on financial transactions, Bourse operators London Stock Exchange, Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext fell between 3.7 and 3.9 percent. Inter-dealer broker ICAP was also hit, down 5.2 percent.
Global brewer SABMiller has taken its $10 billion bid direct to Foster's Group shareholders, days before Foster's announces its annual results, having failed to win over the Australian company's board.
Inflation comes into the spotlight with the release of U.S. producer prices for July. They are seen having risen 0.1 percent after a 0.4 percent fall in June, but excluding food and energy are forecast up 0.2 percent after a 0.3 percent gain in June.
Earnings reports from companies including teen hot-seller Abercrombie & Fitch and big box retailer Target should give an indication of the pace of the back-to-school season and the overall financial health of consumers.
Bank of America Corp may settle a state and federal probe of foreclosure practices in a deal that lets New York proceed with an inquiry into securitizations, Bloomberg reported, citing two people with direct knowledge of the matter.
U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday after three days of gains, partly on disappointment about the outcome of the Sarkozy-Merkel meeting, though retailers Wal-Mart and Home Depot both gained after the industry bellwethers exceeded analysts' expectations for quarterly numbers.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 0.7 percent; the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> declined 1 percent; the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 1.2 percent.
* Shares of Dell Inc fell in extended trading on Tuesday after the computer company posted quarterly revenue slightly below expectations and said sales for the present quarter would be flat.
(Reporting by Brian Gorman; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)