U.S. stock index futures signaled a lower open on Wednesday ahead of a busy day for economic data, as investors await Friday's key employment report, which may shed light on the possible timing of an interest rate rise by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
The ADP private payrolls report showed a gain of 212,000 in February, below expectations and the slowest pace since August 2014. The January private payrolls report was revised up to 250,000.
The ADP data is considered a pre-indicator of Friday's labor market report.
The Federal Reserve should wait until the first half of 2016 before raising interest rates, said, citing low inflation.
Other economic reports are ISM non-manufacturing data at 10 a.m., and the Federal Reserve's Beige Book on the economy at 2 p.m.
Abercrombie & Fitch reported earnings that beat on the top and bottom lines.
Smith & Wesson earned an adjusted 20 cents per share for its latest quarter, 9 cents above estimate, and revenue was also above analyst forecasts. Smith & Wesson also raised its guidance for the full year on rebounding demand for consumer handguns.
Bob Evans Farms has decided not to sell or spin off its foods unit, although it has hired JPMorgan Chase to advise on options for its real estate. Bob Evans also reported a weaker than expected profit for its latest quarter, earning an adjusted 60 cents per share compared to a 71 cent consensus estimate. Revenue also fell short of analyst forecasts.
In Europe, equities were mixed in morning trade on Wednesday, as investors awaited feedback from the European Central Bank's (ECB) policy meeting on Thursday. The central bank could announce at its regular press conference following the meeting exactly when it will start its upcoming bond-buying program, and give more details about what assets it will buy.
In oil markets, Brent crude traded around $60 per barrel on Wednesday after Saudi Arabia raised its official selling prices for its oil deliveries to Asia and the U.S. on Tuesday. U.S. crude climbed around 20 cents, holding above $50 per barrel.In the past seven weeks, Brent crude has risen from a six-year low of around $45, despite global oversupply concerns.
CNBC's Peter Schacknow contributed to this report.