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Stock Futures Tilt Lower

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were leaning lower Wednesday after a three-day rally as the markets followed European markets to the downside.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were slipping 60 points, or 53.60 points below fair value, at 13,059. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 5.2 points, or 5.3 points below fair value, at 1392. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 were dipping 6 points, or 8.21 points below fair value, at 2704.

U.S. stocks finished with modest gains Tuesday after a Federal Reserve official called for an aggressive asset purchase program.

Investor sentiment also got a lift from chatter about a coordinated bond-buying action in Europe and easing concerns about the Chinese economy.

The Labor Department said preliminary second-quarter productivity rose at a 1.6% annual rate and unit labor costs increased at a 1.7% rate. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected productivity to rise by 1.3% and unit labor costs to increase by 0.6%.

September crude oil futures were down 82 cents at $92.85 a barrel amid indications of softening U.S. demand.

December gold futures were down $3.10 at $1,609.70 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 3/32, diluting the yield to 1.621%. The greenback was up 0.21%, according to the dollar index.

The FTSE in London was down 0.55% and the DAX in Germany was down 0.71% as the Bank of England reduced its outlook on the United Kingdom's economy, Dutch bank ING (ING) reported losses related to its exposure to Spain, Greece's rating outlook was slashed by Standard & Poor's and German industrial production in June declined a bit more than expected.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng index finished flat and the Nikkei in Japan closed up 0.88% as investors awaited a batch of China data later this week.

The spate of China data this week includes inflation, industrial production, retail sales and fixed asset investment on Thursday and trade data on Friday.

In corporate news, Walt Disney (DIS - Get Report), the media and entertainment conglomerate, posted better-than-expected earnings but came up short of analysts' estimates on the top line.

The company reported after Tuesday's closing bell earnings of $1.83 billion, or $1.01 a share, in its fiscal third quarter ended in July on revenue of $11.09 billion. Analysts were expecting a profit of 93 cents a share on revenue of $11.31 billion.

Earnings were driven, in part, from strong ticket sales to movies like The Avengers. (PCLN), the online travel reservation company, provided investors with an underwhelming outlook after Tuesday's close of trading.

Priceline said it expects non-GAAP earnings of $11.10 to $12.10 for the third quarter ending in September, well below the current Wall Street consensus estimate for a profit of $12.76 a share. The company said its outlook "reflects an assumption that economic conditions in Europe will further deteriorate."

Macy's (M - Get Report) posted an almost 16% gain in second-quarter net income and earnings per share of 67 cents on revenue of $6.12 billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting second-quarter earnings of 64 cents a share on sales of $6.12 billion.

Jiangling Motors, the Chinese light commercial vehicle maker that is 30%-owned by Ford (F), plans to buy Taiyuan Changan Heavy Truck Co..

China is the world's largest market for heavy trucks. It's Ford's first entry into the market.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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