(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a modestly lower open on the Wall Street as investors weighed quarterly earnings and forecast from bellwether Alcoa.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures slipped 21 points to 13,391. The Nasdaq futures inched up 2 points to 2,736. Standard and Poor's 500 futures edged 0.20 points lower to 1,435.70.
On Tuesday, U.S. stocks ended on a negative note ahead of the third-quarter earnings season and global growth concerns dented sentiment. Investors expect a disappointing third-quarter earnings season, with more companies having guided lower-than-expected numbers, versus those with positive preannouncements.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: AA, YUM, CVX, HELE, BBY, TRLG
In corporate news, Dow component Alcoa Inc. (NYSE:AA) reported its results after the market closed. The company posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue. Alcoa has moderated its global aluminum demand forecast to 6 percent from 7 percent for 2012 amid a slowdown in China. Shares fell 1.31 percent in premarket.
Yum! Brands Inc. (NYSE:YUM) rose 4.86 percent in premarket after the restaurant chain raised its guidance for the full year following 23 percent increase in quarterly earnings.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX) declined 1.93 percent in premarket after the company said it expects earnings for the third quarter to be "substantially lower" than the prior quarter due to lower results at its production as well as refining segments.
Helen of Troy Ltd. (NASDAQ:HELE) retreated 7.73 percent in premarket after the consumer products company reduced its earnings forecast for fiscal 2013 again and it posted lower quarterly profit as higher costs offset growth in sales.
True Religion Apparel Inc. (NASDAQ:TRLG) surged 23.89 percent in premarket after the Vernon, California-based fashion apparel company said it is looking at strategic alternatives, including a possible a sale of itself to maximize shareholder value.
Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE:BBY) disclosed that its Chief Financial Officer James Muehlbauer has decided to step down from the position in February 2013.
European markets traded lower, with Germany's DAX down 0.20 percent to trade at 7,219.96. France's CAC40 fell 0.21 percent to trade at 3,375.60. U.K.'s FTSE 100 dropped 0.43 percent to trade at 5,785.34.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index added 0.21 percent to end at 2,119.94 Japan's Nikkei 225 shed 1.98 percent to finish at 8.596.23. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index dipped 0.08 percent to close at 20,919.60. India's BSE Sensex finished at 18,631.10, down 0.86 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures slipped 0.31 percent to $92.10 per barrel. Gold futures dipped 0.18 percent to $1,761.8 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro was flat against the U.S. dollar to 1.2885. The British pound added 0.04 percent against the greenback to 1.6011, and the dollar rose 0.10 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.3300.