Futures fell Wednesday as investors worried over Fed chairman Bernanke's view of the economy and technical market indicators that point to more weakness ahead.
Speaking at a banking conference in Atlanta on Tuesday, Bernanke said the U.S. economy had suffered a "loss of momentum" but that he still expected growth to pick up again, making a third round of quantitative easing unnecessary. Bernanke’s comments were endorsed by IMF Deputy Managing Director John Lipsky on Wednesday morning.
Meanwhile, government officials and investors described the suggestion to allow a small U.S. debt default to force government spending cutsas a "horrible idea" which could destabilize the world economy and sour already tense relations with big creditors like China.
Also among Dow components, McDonald's slipped after the fast-food giant reported an increase in May same-store sales, but the gains were more modest than expected in the U.S.
Drugmaker Merck is to discontinue a major trial of a key vaccine from Intercelldesigned to protect against serious hospital infections, the Austrian biotech told Reuters on Wednesday.
Verizon edged higher after Oppenheimer upgraded the telecom giant to "outperform," saying the sector should benefit from cloud growth. Meanwhile, Cisco slipped after Berenberg Bank cut its price target on the tech bellwether to $14 from $16.50.
Meanwhile, banks including Goldman Sachs , Bank of America , JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley are among those that are considering layoffs as they struggle to rein in costs and produce profits in a weak market, according to the New York Post. The financial sector has been the poorest performer in 2011.