Futures pulled back Wednesday, after a strong start to the New Year, as investors turned their focus once again to the euro zone's debt concerns.
European shares tumbledamid worries over the region's massive debt refinancing in the first quarter.
Commercial banks' overnight deposits at the ECBhit a new record high of 453 billion euros, ($591billion) data showed on Wednesday, underscoring the ongoing fear banks have about lending to each other in the current debt crisis.
UniCredit plunged after Italy's biggest bank priced a 7.5 billion euro ($9.8 billion) capital hike at a 43 percent discount.
And an auction of 5 billion euros ($6.5 billion) of 10-year German bunds was only just covered, while the yield fell further.
On the tech front, Yahoo named Scott Thompson, the president of Ebay's PayPal business, as its new CEO.
AT&T has agreed to pay TiVo a minimum of $215 million and additional monthly licensing fees to settle a patent infringement dispute related to recording live TV.
Exxon Mobil is in talks to sell most of its 50 percent stake in TonenGeneralSekiyu back to its Japanese refining partner and unload other assets in Japan in a deal that could total $5 billion, according to sources.
Jefferies Group's executives and employees at it prime brokerage unit have threatened to leave over several issues including the recent restructuring and year-end compensation, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
Eastman Kodak may be kicked off the New York Stock Exchange if it cannot boost its share price over the next six months.
On the economic front, loan demand to buy homes and refinance mortgages fell in the last week of 2011, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
Factory orders are expected at 10 am ET, with economists in a Reuters survey expecting a rise of 1.7 percent compared with a 0.4 percent drop in October.
Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney won the Iowa Republican presidential caucusesby a mere eight votes over former U.S. senator Rick Santorum.
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On Tap This Week:
WEDNESDAY: Factory orders, auto sales; Earnings from Mosaic
THURSDAY: ADP employment report, jobless claims, ISM non-mfg index, oil inventories, chain-store sales; Earnings from Monsanto
FRIDAY: Non-farm payrolls
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