(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower opening on the Wall Street as soft economic readings from Europe and earnings warning from FedEx (FDX) raised worries about global growth.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures dipped 19 points to 13,031. The Nasdaq futures fell 7.25 points to 2,767.25. Standard and Poor's 500 futures shed 2.50 points to 1,403.50.
On the domestic economic front, nonfarm business sector labor productivity advanced at a 2.2 percent rate for the second quarter, beating economists expectations of a 1.8 percent rise and a 1.6 percent increase in the preliminary report. The Labor Department also reported that unit labor costs in nonfarm businesses grew 1.5 percent, matching expectations, versus a 1.7 percent rise as reported last month.
On Tuesday, U.S. stocks closed on a mixed note after a data showed manufacturing activity in the world's largest economy shrank for the third straight month, raising fresh concerns about the economic recovery. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) ended 1.46 percent higher amid speculation that the Cupertino, California-based technology behemoth could unveil its next-generation iPhone at a product event in San Francisco next week.
Other closely watched data to be released through the week include: the ADP private sector employment report, weekly jobless claims data, non-farm payrolls and unemployment rate.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank policy meeting is due on Thursday with investors expecting details of a new bond-buying plan aimed to address the euro zone debt woes. A survey by Markit Economics showed that euro zone's private sector business activity in August shrank more than initially estimated.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: FDX, FB, DG, COF, ALTR, FNSR,PBY
In corporate news, FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX) retreated 2.67 percent in premarket after the economic bellwether reduced its earnings guidance for the first quarter citing constrained revenue growth at FedEx Express due to weakness in the global economy.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) added 2.49 percent in premarket after Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg disclosed in a regulatory filing that he has no plans to conduct any sale transactions in the company's securities for at least 12 months.
Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) rose 2.65 in premarket after the discount retailer raised its forecast for the full year following better-than-expected quarterly earnings, as higher customer traffic drove sales growth.
Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF) announced that ING Bank plans to sell all of its 54 million shares in the company in an underwritten public offering.
Altera Corp. (NASDAQ:ALTR) may be in focus after the chipmaker updated its revenue view. It expects sequential revenue growth for the third quarter to be in line with its prior guidance of 2 percent to 6 percent growth.
Finisar Corp. (NASDAQ:FNSR), a provider of optical subsystems and components, reported a quarterly loss due to higher costs and lower revenue. The company guided second quarter results below Wall Street view. Shares shed 1.26 percent in premarket.
G-III Apparel Group Ltd. (NASDAQ:GIII) lifted its earnings and sales forecast for the year after the maker of outerwear reported better-than-expected second-quarter results.
Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack (NYSE:PBY) gained 2.89 percent in premarket after the automotive services company posted higher quarterly earnings and sales. The company also named a new finance chief.
European markets traded mixed, with Germany's DAX up 0.22 percent to trade at 6,948.13. France's CAC40 lost 0.13 percent to trade at 3,394.57. U.K.'s FTSE 100 retreated 0.40 percent to trade at 5,649.30.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index dipped 0.29 percent to finish at 2,037.68. Japan's Nikkei 225 declined 1.09 percent to end at 8,679.82. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled 1.47 percent to end at 19,145.07. India's BSE Sensex closed at 17,313.34, down 0.73 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures dipped 0.16 percent to $95.15 per barrel. Gold futures slipped 0.09 percent to $1,694.4 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro rose 0.33 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2607, and the British pound gained 0.35 percent to 1.5927. The dollar inched up 0.01 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.4300.