Futures remained under pressure Wednesday amid worries over debt issues in the U.S. and euro zone in addition to a handful of tepid economic news.
European shares were also down after an auction of 10-year German Bunds was met with poor demand, possibly indicated German debt had lost its appeal.
Meanwhile, French President Nicholas Sarkozy has embraced a German campaign for treaty change that could give European authorities intrusive powers to intervene in the national budgets of countries sharing the euro currency.
On the economic front, durable goods orders, excluding transportation, unexpectedly fell 0.7 percent in Octoberafter a downwardly revised 0.6 percent increase in September, according to the Commerce Department. Economists had expected the data to be unchanged.
Meanwhile, weekly jobless claims edged up 2,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 393,000, according to the Labor Department, but held below 400,000 for the third straight week. Economists had forecast claims rising to 390,000, according to a Reuters poll.
And at 9:55am Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers releases the final November consumer sentiment index. Economists expect a reading of 64.5, compared with 64.2 in the preliminary November report.
Finally at 10:30am the Economic Cycle Research Institute releases its weekly index of economic activity for the week ending November 18. In the prior week the index read 122.1.