NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing lower Wednesday amid declines on global markets and a lack of clarity from Chinese policymakers about reforming the world's second-largest economy.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were off 70.67 over fair value to 15,698.97 while futures for the S&P 500 were down 7.39 to 1,763.89. Futures for the Nasdaq were 14.33 lower at 3,360.63.
Markets closed lower Tuesday as solid earnings and economic data fueled speculation of an early end to Federal Reserve tapering. Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said the central bank could cut back its bond purchases as early as December. The U.S. Federal budget will be announced later today, laying the groundwork for a debate that could once again bring Washington to a standstill.
Stocks in Asia fell in reaction to the end of a four-day meeting on Tuesday that aimed to outline Chinese economic policy for the coming decade. Investors noted a lack of clarity around financial reform, with little effort to reduce state dominance of the economy.
Companies slated to see price action Wednesday include Macy's (M)
, which beat earnings expectations on strong sales. The retailer posted a 3% lift in revenue to $6.28 billion and earnings of 47 cents a share. Analysts had expected earnings per share of 39 cents on revenue of $6.19 billion. Macy's shares were rising more than 7% in premarket trading to $49.70.
is forecast to post first-quarter earnings of 51 cents a share.
Online textbook company Chegg (CHGG) will float on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday, with 15 million shares priced at $12.50 a share.
The U.S. Treasury will release its monthly account of the surplus or deficit of federal government at 2 p.m. EST. Budget balance changes are followed as an indicator of budgetary trends and the direction of fiscal policy.
Japanese third-quarter GDP will be released at 6:50 p.m. with expectations for 0.4% growth on the prior quarter. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will speak with educators in Washington at 7 p.m., though commentary from his successor Janet Yellen will be more closely scrutinized tomorrow for clues on future monetary policy.
Unemployment in the U.K. fell to its lowest level in more than four years at 7.6% in the third quarter - closer to the point where the Bank of England will consider hiking interest rates. Yet earnings growth was tepid at just 0.8% according to the Office for National Statistics.
Germany's DAX was off 0.88% to 8,997.02 while London's FTSE was falling 1.55% to 6,633.80. The Nikkei shed 0.15% to close at 14,567.16 while the Hang Seng was 1.91% lower at 22,463.83.
Oil futures for December were up 0.34 to $93.38 while gold futures r were up 4.8 to $1276.0. Ten year U.S. Treasuries were off 0.037 to 2.74 while the dollar was off 0.05% to $81.15 according to the U.S. dollar index.
--By Jane Searle in New York.