Futures were pointing to a higher open Wednesday but pared gains after a report showed the US trade gap widened more than expected.
The trade deficit ballooned to $40.18 billion in December, much wider than expected, amid a sharp rise in imports.
And mortgage applications fell 1.2 percentlast week, even as as mortgage rates fell, with the fixed 30-year rate again below 5 percent.
This came after Tuesday's rally that brought the Dow its biggest one-day percentage gain in three months. Sovereign debt remains a primary concern, but worries about Greece's debt problems have abated for the moment ahead of a European Union summit.
A few cancelation notices due to the snow blanketing the Northeast: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will not testify before the House Financial Services Committee today as scheduled because of the weather. Though, the text of his testimony, which deals with the Fed's eventual exit from current stimulus measures, will be released at 10am ET.
The weather has also wiped out the weekly crude oil inventory report and the Treasury's monthly budget statement. The crude report will now be released at 11am on Friday. The budget report has been postponed at least Friday.
The Treasury is set to auction $25 billion in 10-Year notes today, with the results available shortly after 1 pm.
Among stocks to watch today:
Sprint Nextel reported its loss narrowed in the fourth quarter but revenue fell 7 percent and its shares fell.
Dow component Walt Disney Company beat earnings estimateswith its results after the bell Tuesday. The beat was attributed to cost cuts and strong results at its cable division, though its theme parks remain a concern.
After the closing bell today, we'll get results from videogame maker Activision Blizzard .
More bad news for Japanese automakers: While Toyota grapples with a massive recall due to brake problems in some models, Hondaexpanded its recall of 2001 and 2001 Accords, Civics and other models due to a glitch that could cause the airbag to deploy too strongly.
AP reports the FAA is close to finishing a two-year investigation of safety violations at American Airlines that may result in one of the largest fines in the agency's history. The probe involved improperly secured wiring in MD-80 model aircraft.
WEDNESDAY: Google hearing; Fed's Plosser speaks; 1o-year auction; Earnings from NYT, Sprint Nextel, Boston Scientific and Prudential; Chicago auto show starts
THURSDAY: Retail sales; weekly jobless claims; 30-year auction; Earnings from Pepsi, Philip Morris, and Viacom; Fashion week starts; Miami boat show starts
FRIDAY: Consumer sentiment; weekly crude inventories; Treasury budget; Winter Olympics starts
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