U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.24 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.1 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.34 percent.

Yahoo Inc will be in focus after the company beat Wall Street's profit and sales expectations, as spending by advertisers showed signs of life in the third quarter and as months of cost-cutting and restructuring boosted the Internet company's bottom line.

Yahoo shares traded in Frankfurt were up 5.2 percent.

Investors were bracing for a raft of earnings on Wednesday, with Morgan Stanley , eBay , Eli Lilly , Amgen , Boeing Co. , KeyCorp , Northrop Grumman and Wells Fargo & Co among the companies due to report results.

Cadbury beat sales forecasts and raised targets in a bumper third-quarter trading report, pushing up its shares and pressuring suitor Kraft to come up with a bigger bid to win its takeover battle.

U.S. Bancorp is eyeing FBOP Corp, an owner of eight banks that may be put up for sale by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC), the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the situation.

After the bell on Tuesday, shares of Gilead Sciences Inc dropped more than 2 percent to $44.92 following the biotechnology company's third-quarter results, while shares of SanDisk Corp rose more than 12 percent to $24.14 after the chip maker's reported quarterly results above Wall Street's forecasts.

Computer maker Sun Microsystems Inc is cutting 3,000 jobs worldwide, or about 10 percent of its staff, blaming delays in its $7 billion sale to Oracle Corp .

Oil fell below $79 a barrel on Wednesday, extending the previous session's decline from a one-year peak after a bigger-than-expected rise in U.S. crude oil inventories.

The dollar <.DXY> edged lower against the euro and higher-yielding currencies on Wednesday as a brief recovery from a 14-month low versus a currency basket fizzled out, helped by equity market gains which encouraged risk-taking.

Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> ended flat near a three-week high, while European stocks were slightly down in morning trade, with banks such as Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse featuring among the biggest drags.

U.S. stocks retreated from 12-month highs on Tuesday as disappointing housing and inflation data prompted investors to book recent gains despite strong results from bellwethers including Apple and Caterpillar.

The blue-chip Dow Jones industrial average dropped 50.71 points, or 0.50 percent, to end at 10,041.48. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 6.85 points, or 0.62 percent, to 1,091.06. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> shed 12.85 points, or 0.59 percent, to close at 2,163.47.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Hans Peters)