Futures Edge Up After Mild Selloff
Stock index futures are currently pointing to a modestly higher open for Wall Street on Wednesday, following Tuesday's mild selloff that saw the S&P 500 post its first losing session of 2010.
With little on the economic calendar, investors may be reluctant to commit as they await the flood of earnings reports that will come over the next few weeks.
Google shares fell 2 percent in premarket trading on news that it may pull out of China because of cyber attacks. Chinese search engine Baidu surged 16.5 percent.
AstraZeneca was among the market's early movers, rising 2 percent in premarket trading after Credit Suisse upgraded the pharma leader to "neutral" from "underperform."
Earnings season, though just out of the gate, continued to influence the markets.
Data-storage manufacturer Xyratex gained nearly 1 percent after reporting after the bell Tuesday results that beat expectations, and the company raised its outloook.
HB Fuller shares gained more than 5 percent after the company also beat expectations on an 8 percent gain in revenue.
In foreign markets, Germany is reporting a record postwar economic contraction of 5percent for 2009, but government sources do say that the forecast for 2010 will soon be raised.
European stocks started the day in the red after a profit warning by France's second-largest bank Societe Generale, but later pared some of their losses as defensives rose.
Asian stocks closed lower after news that China is tightening credit.
The financial crisis will be front and center on Capitol Hill, as big name bank CEOs testify on causes of the crisis, the controversy over bonuses, and the current state of the economy. JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs are among the notable names who will testify before Congress.
Another snapshot of the economy comes at 2 pm New York time, when the Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book, the region by region assessment of economic conditions.
At the same time, the Treasury is out with the December budget statement, expected to show a deficit of $91 billion for the month, compared with a shortfall of $51.8 billion in December of 2008.
And the Treasury is busy once again selling debt to cover that shortfall, auctioning $21 billion in 10-year notes. Results, as usual, will be available shortly after 1 pm New York time. Yesterday's auction of $40 billion in 3-year notes drew strong demand.
Sony could be a stock to watch, as it postpones the launch of videogame Gran Turismo 5, citing production issues for the latest in that hot-selling videogame line.
Also, McAfee, the maker of anti-virus software, could be active as Facebook gives out free six-month trials of that software to its users. After that, users can pay McAfee's normal fees for the service. With millions of Facebook users, that could provide a revenue boost.
Google is threatening to pull out of the Chinese market over censorship issues, saying it may shut its Chinese web site because of attacks on dissidents through its Gmail service.
- Written by Peter Schacknow, Senior Producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk.