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US Shares to Open Lower Ahead of Fed Minutes

CNBC.com
Wednesday, 22 Aug 2012 | 8:29 AM ET

U.S. stock index futuresare signaling a lower open on Wall Street Wednesday, after the S&P 500 briefly reached its best level in four years a day earlier.

Investors are likely to remain cautious ahead of the Federal Reserve’s minutes due to be released on Wednesday.

The Dow was set to open at 13,182 down 17 points, the Nasdaq at 2,769.5 down 8.95 points and the S&P 500 at 1,409.80 down 2.70 points.

Investor sentiment in the U.S. was initially buoyed on Tuesday by hopes that the European Central Bank (ECB)would set a threshold for yields on bonds of troubled euro zone countries, however markets retreated by the close with a pullback affecting not only the U.S., but European and Asian stocks as well.

In economic data, existing home sales for the month of July will be released at 10 a.m. Later in the day, attention will turn to the Federal Reserve, when the minutes of its latest meeting are published at 2 p.m. New York time. Traders will be watching to see any signs the Fed may be considering further stimulus measures for the economy.

A potentially disruptive factor for U.S markets is renewed uncertainty over Greece’s future in the euro zone. Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras is set to request a two-year extension to the country’s bailout terms, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel is reported to be reluctant to concede more time for the struggling country.

Analysts have told CNBC that a compromise is the most likely solution to the meetings.

In a busy day for U.S. corporate earnings, results are expected from American Eagle , Chico’s, Toll Brothers , Hewlett-Packard and Guess .

What's Happening The Rest of This Week:

THURSDAY: Jobless claims, PMI manufacturing index flash, new home sales, FHFA home price index; Earnings from Gold Fields, Hormel Foods
FRIDAY: Durable goods orders, USDA food prices outlook

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