NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were waffling after the European Central Bank's plans to expand lending triggered an enormous response from financial institutions, highlighting the deep funding pressures they continue face.

Futures for the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

were falling 24 points, or 26.6 points below fair value, at 12,007. Futures for the

S&P 500

were losing 3.4 points, or 3 points below fair value, at 1233, and futures for the


were shedding 4.8 points, or 16.4 points below fair value, at 2262.

Software giant

Oracle's miss on quarterly earnings for the first time in a decade

was also pressuring technology stocks, with the company reporting adjusted second-quarter earnings of 54 cents a share. That fell short of the average analyst target of 57 cents, according to

Thomson Reuters.

Stock futures initially advanced on the ECB's decision to extend three-year loans, or loans with maturities lasting more than about a year, to more than 500 banks. But they began wavering on realizations by investors that the overwhelming response of financial institutions to the offer -- 523 banks in total -- was a sign that they continue to face big funding pressures in the market, forcing the ECB to take on a role akin to that of the lender of last resort.

The central bank is allotting €489 billion in loans, a record amount for a single operation, at a low benchmark interest rate of 1%. That's more than the €300 billion analysts surveyed by




were expecting. The ECB extending easy money to banks that are already heavily exposed to risky eurozone debt was also drawing attention to the increasing drag on its balance sheet.

Germany's DAX was down 0.29%, while London's FTSE was falling 0.54%. Overnight, Japan's Nikkei Average finished 1.48% higher, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed up 1.86%.

Stocks surged Tuesday as investors took heart from improvements in U.S. homebuilding, positive German economic data and a successful Spanish debt auction.

Investors today are optimistic about existing home sales for November, set to be released by the National Association of Realtors at 10 a.m. Economists forecast a 2.6% gain in existing home sales to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5 million after a 1.4% advance in October.

Delphi Financial


, the insurance company, is being acquired for $2.7 billion by Japan's

Tokio Marine

. Tokio Marine will pay $43.875 for each class A share of Delphi Financial. In premarket trading Wednesday, the stock rose 61.2$ to $41.


(MSFT) - Get Report



(NOK) - Get Report

flirted in recent months with the idea of making a joint bid for BlackBerry maker

Research In Motion



The Wall Street Journal

reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The status of the talks remains unclear, the newspaper said. The


reports follows one from


on Tuesday that said


(AMZN) - Get Report

explored making a bid for RIM. Shares rose 9.7% to $13.73 in premarket trading.


(NKE) - Get Report

fiscal second-quarter earnings

beat analysts' expectations

. The sneaker and sports apparel maker reported earnings of $469 million, or $1 a share, on revenue of $5.73 billion, an increase of 18% from the same quarter last year. Analysts were expecting profit of 97 cents a share in the November quarter on revenue of $5.63 billion.

February oil futures were up 10 cents to $97.34 a barrel. February gold futures were falling 10 cents to $1,617.50 an ounce alongside the euro.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was up 2/32, diluting the yield to 1.922%. The U.S. dollar was rising against a basket of six major currencies, with the dollar index up 0.2% at $79.97.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York