Stock index futures pointed to a flat her open for Wall Street Wednesday, with investors looking for news both from companies reporting earnings and from economic leaders gathered for the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Ford Motor shares gained 2.3 percent in premarket trading on the bid news out of the auto industry overnight: Toyota is suspending US sales of eight models due to a massive safety recall. Toyota shares fell 4 percent overnight in Tokyo.
Toyotais suspending the sale of eight models involved in its recall for accelerator pedals that stick. The models involved are the RAV4, Corolla, Matrix, Avalon, Camry, Highlander, Tundra, and Sequoia.
But early earnings news from Dow components wasn't helping the market's fortunes.
Dow component Caterpillar beat analyst estimates on the bottom line, but with the market focusing on revenue growth and forecast the results were a disappointment. Shares fell more than 4 percent premarket.
Boeing reported results ahead of analyst estimates while acknowleding a difficult year. Traders initially sent the stock down but it rebounded and was up 2.8 percent.
Fellow bluechip index stock United Technologies reported a $1.15 per share profit that was slightly ahead of expectations. Shares were flat premarket.
European shares were lower and Asian shares closed down on continuing fears over China's monetary tightening and the euro zone's debt problems.
China’s economy will grow in 2010 at a similar rate to the previous year, but it is starting to see signs or inflation forming, People’s Bank of China Deputy Governor Zhu Min told CNBC in Davos.
The European Central Bank will start phasing out the measures it took to boost liquidity at the height of the crisis and it cannot cater to the needs of individual countries with problems, Axel Weber, ECB governing council member told CNBC in an interview.
Other companies on the earnings agenda this morning include Abbott Laboratories, ConocoPhillips, General Dynamics, Hess, Illinois Tool Works, Smith International, St. Jude Medical, Stanley Works, UAL, Valero Energy, and WellPoint Health.
After the bell reports include Citrix, E*Trade, Norfolk Southern, and Qualcomm .
Yahoo will be a stock to watch, with the company making optimistic comments about its business following a quarter that saw earnings numbers come in largely in line with Wall Street estimates.
The government releases December's new home sales numbers at 10 am New York time, expected to show a gain of 2.8 percent following an 11.3 percent drop in November.
We'll also get the weekly report on mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association at 7 am New York time, and the EIA's weekly crude oil inventory report at 10:30 am.
Apple will unveil its long-anticipated tablet computer at an event in San Francisco later today, complete with the usual Apple fanfare that surrounds a new product introduction.
President Obama gives his first State of the Union address tonight, with the focus largely expected to be on the economy.
- Written by Peter Schacknow, Senior Producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk.