US Markets

Dow futures fall 150 points; oil sheds 3%

Keep selling energy but buy S&P: David Bianco

U.S. stock index futures indicated a sharply lower open Wednesday as global markets slumped once again following oil price declines.

Dow futures fell more than 150 points, while S&P and Nasdaq futures also pointed to a sharply lower open, as U.S. crude prices dropped more than 3 percent.

Oil, which has been the top of investors' minds for the last few months, again slipped overnight with WTI futures dropping below $31 a barrel. Hopes of an oil production cut were dashed on Tuesday after Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali bin Ibrahim Al-Naimi signaled no cuts would happen to tackle the global supply glut.

At CERAWeek, OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri told CNBC that oil producers are still "feeling the water" over a possible deal to freeze production.
No signs OPEC production cut is close at hand
Secretary General of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Abdalla Salem El-Badri.
El-Badri: OPEC willing to work with non-OPEC producers

European equities followed the negative tone set in Asia overnight where markets traded mostly lower. This came after a negative close on Wall Street on Tuesday. Overall trade volume declined for the fourth-straight day in the U.S. to post the second lowest trade volume day of the year, going back to early January.

On the earnings front, L Brands,, NetEase and Transocean are all due after the close.

On the data front, they'll be services PMIs at 9.45 a.m. ET and new home sales figures at 10.00 a.m. ET.

Investors will also be watching for more hints on future policy at the U.S. Federal Reserve and whether it will continue its tightening process this year.

Richmond Federal Reserve President Jeffrey Lacker said in a Reuters report Wednesday there is still a case for raising interest rates further, a sign the central bank's internal debate over rate hikes remains a live one.

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is due to speak after the closing bell at 7.00 p.m. ET.

Fed Vice-Chairman Stanley Fischer said Tuesday that Fed officials "simply do not know" what course of action they would take at their next meeting three weeks from now, adding that it was too early to assess the impact of current market volatility.

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—CNBC's Patti Domm and Evelyn Cheng contributed to this report.