Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 fell 0.2 to 0.3 percent, pointing to a weaker start for equities on Wall Street on Wednesday.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke gives semi-annual testimony on monetary policy and the state of the economy before the House Financial Services Committee. The testimony is likely to start at 1500 GMT (10 a.m. EST).

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner testifies on the FY2011 budget proposal before House Budget Committee.

Toyota Motor Corp's <7203.T> president braced for tough questions from a U.S. congressional panel after the Japanese automaker conceded it had let safety standards slip and could still not explain most incidents of unintended acceleration.

Verdicts were expected on Wednesday on Google <goog.o> executives charged over a bullying video posted on the company's Italian website, in a case that could set a precedent for Internet content responsibility.

Commerce Dept releases new home sales for January at 1500 GMT (10 a.m. EST). Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total 360,000 annualized units in the month compared with 342,000 in December.

U.S. securities regulators are considering new short-sale restrictions with no exemptions for market makers, people familiar with the regulators' plans said on Tuesday.

The Securities and Exchange Commission is due to meet on Wednesday to vote on rules that would restrict short-selling in a company's stock if that stock fell by more than a certain percentage, such as 10 percent, the sources said.

The Mortgage Bankers Association releases at 1200 GMT (7 a.m. EST) Weekly Mortgage Market Index for the week ended February 19. The index read 600.5 and the refinancing index was 2,860.1 in the previous week.

China's banking regulator has told commercial lenders to tighten their grip on credit to local governments in an effort to ward off potential risks of default, state media reported on Wednesday.

The move is part of broader efforts, including raising bank reserve requirements, to check explosive lending growth that has set off concerns about asset price bubbles and the potential creation of a fresh crop of bad loans.

Shares of Century Aluminum Co <cenx.o> dropped more than 6 percent to $11.94 on Tuesday after the company reported its quarterly results.

Verigy Ltd <vrgy.o> fell 8.7 percent in extended trading on Tuesday after the company reported quarterly results.

New York-based SkyBridge Capital is in advanced talks to buy Citigroup Inc's <c.n> $4 billion hedge fund business, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Express Scripts posts fourth-quarter results <esrx.o>. Other companies due to announce results include J. M. Smucker Co., American Tower Corp., Flowserve Corp, Frontier Comm. Corp., Limited Brands, Nicor Northeast Utilities and The Washington Post Co..

Blockbuster Inc <bbi.n> has hired a law firm and an investment bank to explore how the video rental firm can cut its $1 billion debt load, the Wall Street Journal reported.

European shares turned lower in early trading on Wednesday, pressured by banking stocks. The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares was down 0.4 percent.

Japan's Nikkei stock average <.N225> fell 1.5 percent on Wednesday, with exporters hit by a stronger yen and after a sharp drop in U.S. consumer sentiment dented investor confidence in the global economy.

U.S. stocks suffered their biggest one-day decline in nearly three weeks on Tuesday after a sharp drop in consumer confidence heightened worries over one of the most vulnerable areas of the economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> slipped 100.97 points, or 0.97 percent, to 10,282.41. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gave up 13.41 points, or 1.21 percent, at 1,094.60. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was off 28.59 points, or 1.28 percent, to 2,213.44.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Mike Nesbit)