Futures Decline Amid Fed Uncertainty
Stock index futures were lower Wednesday as investors speculated that strong economic data on home prices and consumer confidence could prompt the Federal Reserve to retreat from its stimulus program earlier than expected.
The Dow closed at another record high on Tuesday, the first day of trade following a long holiday weekend.
On Tuesday, single-family home prices rose in March, according to the S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas, logging their best annual gain in nearly seven years. Meanwhile consumer confidence strengthened in May to the highest level since February 2008, according to the Conference Board.
"We expect residential investment to add to GDP growth in the coming quarters. We also expect rising real estate wealth to support household balance sheets and underpin consumption, helping the broader economy to offset a substantial fiscal drag in 2013," Barclays analysts said in a note to clients.
The OECD, in its latest economic outlook released early on Wednesday, said the United States would drive global growth, projecting an expansion in GDP of 1.9 percent in 2013 and 2.8 percent in 2014.
But the OECD also cuts its global growth forecast for this year to 3.1 percent from 3.4 percent previously.
Among earnings, Chico's tumbled after the women's apparel retailer reported weaker-than-expected quarterly results, hurt by an unusually cooler spring and increased promotions.
Meanwhile, Michael Kors rallied after the accessories maker reported better-than-expected earnings.
On the economic front, mortgage rates jumped to their highest level in a year last week, drying up demand for home refinancings, amid worries the Federal Reserve may begin to slow its stimulus efforts, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The Treasury is scheduled to auction $35 billion in 5-year notes with the results available shortly after 1pm ET.
—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park. Follow JeeYeon on Twitter:
Coming Up This Week:
WEDNESDAY: Bank of Canada announcement, 5-yr note auction, ExxonMobil shareholder mtg
THURSDAY: GDP, jobless claims, corporate profits, pending home sales index, natural gas inventories, oil inventories, 7-yr note auction, Fed balance sheet/money supply; Earnings from Costco, Joy Global, Lions Gate Ent.
FRIDAY: Personal income & outlays, Chicago PMI, consumer sentiment, farm prices, OPEC mtg
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