Stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wednesday, putting the S&P 500 on track for a sixth straight losing day as the euro zone crisis and weak Chinese data weighed on investor sentiment.
The latest U.S. data showed an unexpected rise weekly jobless claims, while durable goods orders fell less than expected. Futures barely budged, as the focus stayed overseas.
World stocks hit their lowest in six weeks as weak demand in a German bond auction heightened fears the euro zone crisis would worsen.
Debt problems in Europe and the United States have pressured markets. The S&P has fallen more than 5 percent in over the last five sessions.
Chinese manufacturing shrank the most in 32 months in November, intensified concerns about a global economic slowdown. Crude oil fell 1.9 percent on fears of reduced demand from the world's No. 2 economy.
A contraction in China would not help the global economy, and right now the global economy is struggling, said Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at John Thomas Financial in New York. There's both weakness there and concerns about Europe, and that offsets any positive news we might have.
New U.S. jobless claims rose slightly last week but held below 400,000 for the third straight week, while new orders for a range of durable goods unexpectedly rose in October. Sharp downward revisions to the prior month's data suggested manufacturing was taking a breather.
S&P 500 futures fell 11 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 92 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 17 points.
The S&P managed Tuesday to hold near 1,187, seen as the next key technical support that represents the 61.8 percent retracement of the 2011 high to low. The index fell below the 1,200 mark last week.
I think that after all the losses we've suffered the market is oversold, but the fact that we've fallen so far so fast suggests there could still be further room to drop, said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Banyan Partners LLC in New York.
Trading volume is likely to be low on Wednesday, the day before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday, when U.S. markets are closed. That could amplify turbulence, which remains tied to Europe's volatility.
Deere & Co
The U.S. Federal Reserve plans to run stress tests on six large U.S. banks, including Bank of America Corp
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's final November consumer sentiment index will be released at 9:55 a.m. EST. Economists look for a reading of 64.5, compared with 64.2 in the preliminary November report.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)