Futures tumbled Wednesday after a report showed a much sharper drop in durable-goods orders than expected. Plus, a sharp selloff in China dragged on oil prices, which also weighed on the market.
This came after a mixed session Tuesday that nonetheless had some bullish components — primarily that the Dow pared almost all of a 100-plus-point loss by the close and the Nasdaq rallied to finish the day higher by 0.4 percent — all that despite a disappointing batch of earnings reports and a slump in consumer confidence.
Orders for durable goods, big-ticket items such as refrigerators and cars, fell 2.5 percentin June amid weak demand for communications and transportation equipment. That was much sharper than 1.3-percent decline in May and the 0.6-percent drop economists had expected.
Behold, the day is finally here: Microsoft and Yahoo have finally reached an agreement! The tech titans put years of flirtation to a clsoe with a deal that will combine their search capacities to compete against Google .
Investors, though, were cool to the news finally breaking, sending Yahoo shares lower by 7 percent and Microsoft up less than 0.5 percent in premarket trading.
Another heavy batch of earnings for investors to consider this morning and afternoon.
Earnings before the bell include Coca-Cola Enterprises, ConocoPhillips, Hess, Martha Stewart, Qwest, Sprint Nextel and Time Warner.
After the bell will see quarterly reports from Owens-Illinois, Symantec, and Visa.
On the economic calendar: mortgage applications fell for the first time in four weeks. Also, the government is out with June durable goods orders at 8:30 am, with economists looking for a drop of 0.5 percent.
The Energy Department has the weekly oil inventories report at 10:30 am New York time, and the Federal Reserve releases the Beige Book — its region-by-region assessment of the nation's economy — at 2 pm.
The Treasury will auction 5-year notes today, with results expected shortly after 1 pm New York time. That follows a so-so auction of 2-year notes yesterday, with a 7-year auction coming tomorrow.
- Peter Schacknow contributed to this report.