U.S. stock index futures shaved their early gains following a weaker-than-expected durable goods orders report and as Apple shares weighed.
On the economic front, durable goods orders tumbled 5.7 percent in March, logging their steepest drop in seven months, according to the Commerce Department. Economists polled by Reuters had expected orders to slip 2.8 percent from a previously reported 5.6 percent increase. Excluding transportation, orders declined 1.4 percent after falling 1.7 percent the prior month.
Traders also had time to digest Apple earnings, which beat on the top and bottom lines. But shares declined as investors were disappointed with the company's comments on slower growth and lower margins and a lack of new products on the near horizon. Adding to woes, at least eleven brokerages slashed their price target on the company.
Among other earnings, Ford Motor gained after the automaker beat Wall Street expectations on profit and revenue.
Dow component Procter & Gamble turned in quarterly earnings that beat expectations, but shares declined as the household goods manufacturer posted outlook for the current quarter that fell short of Wall Street forecasts.
Sprint Nextel posted a smaller than expected quarterly loss, even as it saw steep customer losses from the Nextel network it is shutting down. Sprint's board is currently evaluating a $25.5 billion acquisition offer from satellite TV service Dish Network, which challenged Sprint's October agreement to sell 70 percent of the company to Japan's SoftBank for $20.1 billion.