U.S stock index futures held their losses Wednesday, as investors seemed to take a breather after a three-day rally that took the S&P 500 above 1,400, and following a report that showed productivity rose in the second quarter.
On the economic front, productivity rose 1.6 percent in the second quarter, according to the Labor Department, as companies expanded output but only modestly increased the hours worked by employees. Analysts had expected productivity to increase at a 1.3 percent rate.
The government also said productivity gained 0.7 percent last year, more than the initially estimated advance of 0.4 percent.
Stocks have rallied in the last few sessions amid growing expectations the ECB could act soon to help soothe the euro zone worries. European shares also declined, retreating from the four-month highs hit in the previous session and Spanish 10-year yields briefly crossed above 7 percent.
“As long as there’s no major blowup in Europe, [the market] will probably trot on here,” said Yra Harris of Praxis Trading on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “At least we can put to bed the ‘sell in May and go away’ crowd because we’re right back to where we were on April 30.”
Hewlett-Packard rallied sharply after the tech giant raised its third-quarter earnings guidance to $1 a share. Analysts had expected the company to earn between 94 cents a share and 97 cents a share.
Morgan Stanley slipped amid worries the bank may be under pressure to close its brokerage offices and lay off supporting staff, according to sources. Other banks including Citigroup and Bank of America were also lower.
McDonald's posted flat same-store sales in July, mostly hurt by Europe. Analysts had expected a gain of 2.3 percent.
Among earnings, Disney posted earnings that beat expectations, but revenue was lighter than expected, sending shares lower. Still, at least five analysts raised their price targets on the company. (Watch: Disney's CEO Says There's Still 'Room to Increase Pricing')
Priceline plunged after the online travel company handed in a disappointing guidancefor the current quarter. Rivals Expedia and TripAdvisor were also trading lower.
Meanwhile, Macy's rallied after the department-store chain reported a higher quarterly profit, thanks to cost controls and robust sales in July. The company also boosted its full-year earnings guidance.
NewsCorp is scheduled to post earnings after the closing bell. (Click for full earnings coverage.)
Bloomin’ Brands, the parent company of Outback Steakhouse and Bonefish Grill, will make its market debut on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol BLMN. The company priced its IPO at $11 per share, below the expected range of $13 to $15 a share.
Crude oil inventories week will be released by the Energy Department at 10:30 am ET. Inventories fell by 6.52 million in the prior week.
Weekly mortgage applications slipped last weekamid lower demand for new purchase and refinance loans, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. (Read More: Late Payments on Mortgages Hit 3-Year Low)
The Federal Reserve will auction $24 billion in 10-year notes with the results available shortly after 1pm.
—By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
Coming Up This Week:
WEDNESDAY: Oil inventories, 10-yr note auction, AmEx investor mtg, Kodak patent auction; Earnings from NewsCorp
THURSDAY: International trade, jobless claims, wholesale trade, 30-yr bond auction, Manchester United pricing; Earnings from Advanced Auto Parts, Kohl's, Nordstrom
FRIDAY: Import/export prices, USDA crop production report, Manchester United IPO; Earnings from JCPenney
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