Futures remained under pressure Wednesday amid worries over debt issues in the U.S. and euro zone in addition to a handful of tepid economic news.
European shares were also down after an auction of 10-year German Bunds was met with poor demand, possibly indicated German debt had lost its appeal.
Meanwhile, French President Nicholas Sarkozy has embraced a German campaign for treaty change that could give European authorities intrusive powers to intervene in the national budgets of countries sharing the euro currency.
On the economic front, durable goods orders, excluding transportation, unexpectedly fell 0.7 percent in Octoberafter a downwardly revised 0.6 percent increase in September, according to the Commerce Department. Economists had expected the data to be unchanged.
Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims edged up 2,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 393,000, according to the Labor Department, but held below 400,000 for the third straight week. Economists had forecast claims rising to 390,000, according to a Reuters poll.
And at 9:55am Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers releases the final November consumer sentiment index. Economists expect a reading of 64.5, compared with 64.2 in the preliminary November report.
Finally at 10:30am the Economic Cycle Research Institute releases its weekly index of economic activity for the week ending November 18. In the prior week the index read 122.1.
Banks were lower after the Federal Reserve announced plans to stress test the six largest U.S. financialsagainst a hypothetical market shock, including a deterioration of the European debt crisis, as part of an annual review of bank health.
The six big banks to be tested are Bank of America , Citigroup , Goldman Sachs , JPMorgan , Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo .
Among earnings, Deere jumped after the heavy equipment maker posted a 46 percent increase in earnings and projected "substantial growth" for 2012, thanks to strong global farming conditions.
Meanwhile Pandora Media results topped Wall street estimates, but shares slipped after the online music streaming company handed in a conservative guidance.
Airbus and Boeing are bidding to sell around 150 jets to United Continental as the world's largest airline joins an industry-wide scramble for fuel savings, people familiar with the matter said.
Weekly mortgage applications rebounded last week, but demand for refinancing slumped for a second straight week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Meanwhile, investors were also spooked by a report showing China's factory sector shrank the most in 32 months in November as new orders slumped, reviving worries China may be skidding towards an economic hard landing. German manufacturing also contracted for a second straight month in November.
—Follow JeeYeon Park on Twitter: twitter.com/JeeYeonParkCNBC—
On Tap This Week:
WEDNESDAY: Consumer sentiment, oil inventories, 7-yr note auction, Super Cmte. must vote on detailed recommendations
THURSDAY: Thanksgiving Day: All US markets closed
FRIDAY: Black Friday, NYSE early close, Fed balance sheet, money supply, USDA food prices outlook
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