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