(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on the Wall Street, with Mini Dow Industrial Average futures down 60 points to 13,059. The Nasdaq futures shed 6 points to 2,704. Standard and Poor's 500 futures fell 5.20 points to 1,391.80.
In European news, the Bank of England now expects growth of around 2 percent at the end of 2013, down from 2.6 percent growth forecasted earlier. A report released by the German Federal Statistical Office showed that German exports declined 1.5 percent in June following a 4.2 percent gain in May, versus expectations of a 1.3 percent fall. Meanwhile, ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded its outlook on Greece's credit rating to "negative" from "stable".
On the domestic economic front, nonfarm business sector labor productivity advanced at a 1.6 percent rate for the second quarter, versus economists expectations of a 1.3 percent rise and a 0.5 percent decline in the first quarter. The Labor Department also reported that unit labor costs in nonfarm businesses grew 1.7 percent, sharply up from estimation of a rise of 0.6 percent.
On Tuesday, U.S. stocks ended in green amid expectation the European Central Bank (ECB) will act soon to address the euro zone's debt woes following a set of downbeat economic readings from the region.
Hot Stocks Of The Day:PCLN, DIS, ESRX, RL, M, WCRX, IFF
In corporate news, Priceline.com Inc. (NASDAQ:PCLN) slumped 15.39 percent in premarket after the Norwalk, Connecticut-based provider of online travel services guided third-quarter below market expectations, saying macro-economic conditions and a strong dollar have put pressure on top-line growth rates.
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) reported a 24 percent jump in quarterly earnings helped by strong growth across all segments. Despite earnings exceeding Wall Street expectations, revenue missed consensus. Shares fell 1.39 percent in premarket.
Express Scripts Holding Co. (NASDAQ:ESRX) jumped 6.05 percent in premarket after the St. Louis, Missouri-based provider of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services raised its full-year earnings forecast following better-than-expected quarterly results.
Ralph Lauren Corp. (NYSE:RL) lost 7.21 percent after the New York-based designer of lifestyle accessories forecast lower operating margin and consolidated net revenues to decline by a mid-single-digit percentage for the second quarter.
Macy's Inc. (NYSE:M) added 3.11 percent after the Cincinnati, Ohio-based operator of Bloomingdale?s Outlet stores boosted its earnings guidance following higher quarterly profit and sales.
Warner Chilcott Plc (NASDAQ:WCRX) shed 6.30 percent after the Dublin-based drugmaker said it has terminated talks over a potential sale of the company. Warner plans to incur $600 million of new debt that will be used to fund a special dividend of $4.00 per share, or around $1.0 billion.
International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. (NYSE:IFF) may be in focus after the New York-based company reported double-digit earnings growth for the second quarter on expansion in margins and said it is cautiously optimistic in its outlook amid softness in Fragrance Ingredients and weak economic conditions in Western Europe.
European markets traded lower, with Germany's DAX retreating 0.73 percent to trade at 6,917.39. France's CAC40 dropped 0.82 percent to 3,424.98. U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.59 percent to trade at 5,806.91.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index rose 0.16 percent to finish at 2,160.99. Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.88 percent to end at 8,881.16. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dipped 0.04 percent to end at 20,065.52. India's BSE Sensex finished at 17,600.56, down 0.01 percent.
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures declined 0.56 percent to $93.15 per barrel. Gold futures lost 0.30 percent to $1,607.900 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro shed 0.54 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2332 while the British pound gained 0.13 percent against the greenback to 1.5642. The dollar slipped 0.33 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.3400.