NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. futures are pointed down on Wednesday, continuing the drop major indices experienced in trading Tuesday.
World markets, for the most part, aren't fairing much better today as the Hang Seng and Nikkei closed trading down 1.2% and 0.9%, respectively. The Shanghai Composite was the lone major Asian index to finish in the green, closing trading up 0.9%.
In Europe, indexes were also declining as falling crude prices take their toll on the market. The DAX was down 2.5%, the CAC 2.2%, and the FTSE 100 1.5%.
Industry standard Brent crude futures contracts for April delivery were down $0.80 to $32.48 per barrel while West Texas crude futures were off $1.11 to $30.76 per barrel. Crude prices reversed their earlier gains on Tuesday after Iran's oil minister -- whose oil was recently made available to the world market after sanctions against the country were lifted -- called Russia and Saudi Arabia's plan to halt production "ridiculous."
The comments came before Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali al-Naimi told a conference in Houston yesterday that freezing production at January levels was the beginning of a process. "Maybe not all of them, but most of the countries that count will freeze," al-Naimi said. Iran is not one of those countries and has historically been one of Saudi Arabia's staunchest political rivals. While signaling that it would be amenable to a production freeze, Saudi Arabia said that it would be dependent on other countries like Iran and Iraq also not raising their production.
Domestically, U.S. retailers are in the spotlight premarket as some of the biggest names in the sector reported their earnings results this morning.
One day after Macy's (M) and Home Depot (HD) posted strong quarterly results, Lowe's(LOW) matched analysts' earnings expectations and beat on sales. For the current year, the company also provided upside full-year revenue growth guidance, forecasting sales to grow 6% to $62.6 billion vs. analysts' 4.8% growth expectations. Despite these positive factors, Lowe's was falling 3% premarket.
Shares of Action Alerts PLUS holding Target (TGT) were declining premarket after the retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed expectations by $0.02.
This afternoon, Jim Cramer will be watching the earnings release of Salesforce.com(CRM). "Investors are looking forward to this earnings report because it should give the company a chance to trade on its own merits once again," said Benjamin Stoto, director of research for CNBC's "Mad Money." We'll also be watching billings and bookings growth. Last quarter, both came in above 20%. If they can do that again, the stock should be able to regain some momentum."
Analysts are expecting the company to report a fourth-quarter profit $0.19 per share on revenue of about $2 billion.