NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing lower Wednesday amid tepid Chinese economic data, while Procter & Gamble ( PG) posted revenue that fell short of expectations. Investors are looking to earnings from Facebook ( FB) and Apple ( AAPL) later on Wednesday.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were falling 1.37 below fair value to 16,442.0 while futures for the S&P 500 were off 2.45 below fair value to 1,870.75. Futures for the Nasdaq were dropping 4.30 below fair value to 3,575.8.
- Chinese factory activity contracted for a fourth consecutive month, amid calls for more policy support to help economic growth. The HSBC/Markit flash Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for April rose to 48.3 from March's result of 48.0 but remained below the 50-mark for expansion.
- In international markets, the Hang Seng closed 0.97% lower while the Nikkei was 1.09% higher. Germany's DAX was falling 0.29% while London's FTSE was 0.18% lower. Tensions continue in Ukraine, where armed pro-Russia groups have occupied areas in the eastern region and refused to leave until the country's government resigns.
- On the economic calendar, Markit's preliminary reading on the manufacturing purchasing managers' index for April is out at 9.45 a.m. EDT. Expectations are for a 56.3 result in April up from 55.5 in March.
- New-home sales for March are due at 10 a.m. and are expected to show annualized sales of new single-family homes were 450,000, up from 440,000 in February.
- Companies set to report Wednesday include Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Boeing (BA). Facebook is expected to post earnings after the markets close Wednesday of 24 cents a share while Apple is slated to post fiscal second-quarter earnings of $10.19 a share.
- Procter & Gamble (PG) was falling 1% in premarket trade after posting revenue below expectations. Revenue was $20.56 billion, down from $20.6 billion in the same period last year.
- Stocks expected to see price action include Gilead Sciences (GILD) which was rising 3.69% in premarket trading, after announcing late Tuesday a more than doubling in first-quarter profit to $1.33 a share, bolstered by sales of its hepatitis C drug Sovaldi. Yum! Brands (YUM) was rising 1.96% in premarket trading after it said late Tuesday that stronger Chinese demand helped underpin an 18% rise in profit.
- Markets closed higher for the sixth consecutive session on Tuesday -- the longest winning streak for the S&P 500 since September -- amid deal activity in the pharmaceutical sector and solid earnings reports.
-- By Jane Searle in New York