By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch
MADRID (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures edged lower on Wednesday, taking a cue from losses in the prior session that halted a two-day winning streak for major indices. Weighing on sentiment was a fall for global stocks, with China hit hard after the country's leaders failed to provide clear policy direction.
The Federal Budget is expected later, and earnings from Macy's Inc. are also due ahead of the bell.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJZ3) fell 23 points, or 0.2%, to 15,687, while those for the Standard & Poor's 500 index (SPZ3) slipped 2.6 points to 1,762.50. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 (NDZ3) fell 7 points, or 0.2%, to 3,357.50.
The economic calendar is light for the U.S., with the Federal Budget for October scheduled for release at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.
Caution is building somewhat among investors ahead of Senate confirmation hearings on Thursday with Janet Yellen, nominated to chair the Federal Reserve. Wall Street stocks closed lower on Tuesday, breaking a two-day run for both the Dow industrials (DJI) and the S&P 500 index (SPX) after some Fed officials delivered fresh warnings about potential reductions in stimulus. Read: S&P 500 hesitates at major resistance
Sentiment was dulled across the board on Wednesday by weakness in global stocks. Chinese stocks in particular fell as the market got its first chance to react to Tuesday's conclusion of the Third Plenum, a four-day meeting that sets the course for the Chinese economy for the next 10 years. A sweeping reform plan, sparse on details, left investors disappointed. Read: China's reform announcement: Five key takeaways
"The failure of the Chinese leaders to address steps to curb the state dominance of the economy and vagueness over financial reform has investors spooked," said Alex Conroy, financial sales trader at Spreadex, who said Asian markets had been positioning for the Plenum to more clearly address slowing growth and deliver a plan to ease government support, amid fears of a credit crunch for the country.
"The disappointing results of the Plenum are likely to cause volatility for the coming week as investors reverse previous positions," said Conroy in a note to investors.
fell more than 1% at one point, and that sentiment carried over into Europe. In addition, U.K. stocks fell and the British pound jumped after the Bank of England's November Inflation Report was released, and official data showed unemployment in the country hitting its lowest level in more than 4 years.
Among corporates, Macy's (M) is projected to report third-quarter earnings of 39 cents a share when it announces quarterly results, according to analysts surveyed by FactSet.
Shares of Potbelly Corp. (PBPB) could tack on further gains in premarket, after a late-session surge Tuesday as the sandwich chain reported results that beat Wall Street expectations.
-Barbara Kollmeyer; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
11-13-13 0611ETCopyright (c) 2013 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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