(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a lower opening on the Wall Street ahead of a housing data even as lingering worries over the looming "fiscal cliff" weighed on the sentiment.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures dropped 31 points to 12,831. The Nasdaq futures shed 6.75 points to 2,634.50. Standard and Poor's 500 futures lost 4.70 points to 1,392.70.
At 10 am ET, a report may show that new-home sales - which measures the annualized number of new single-family homes that were sold during the previous month - rose to 390,000 from 389,000.
At 2 pm ET, the Federal Reserve is due to release its Beige Book, a report on current economic conditions in each of the 12 Federal districts in the U.S.
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On Tuesday, U.S. stocks ended in red as lingering worries over the looming "fiscal cliff" offset a set of positive economic reports and news out of Europe. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that "fiscal cliff" discussions have made "little progress". President Obama has pushed for higher taxes on wealthy Americans to address the fiscal cliff of roughly $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases that could hit economic growth.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: GMCR, COST, EXPR, ADI, ANN, AEO, PVH, TFM
In corporate news, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) spiked 20.38 percent in premarket after the company announced a 22 percent jump in quarterly earnings on strong sales. GMCR's results and first-quarter outlook came in above market expectations.
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Costco Wholesale Corp. (NASDAQ: COST) gained 3.36 percent in premarket after the company reported a 6 percent growth in comparable store sales for November and it declared a special dividend of $7 per share.
Analog Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: ADI) retreated 3.02 percent in premarket after the maker of signal processors issued a downbeat first-quarter outlook following lower third-quarter results.
Express Inc. (NYSE: EXPR) jumped 11.16 percent in premarket after the apparel retailer posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings and its guidance topped consensus.
Ann Inc. (NYSE: ANN) gained 3.30 percent in premarket after the retailer of women apparel posted third-quarter results that beat market expectations on improved margins and it raised its forecast for 2012.
American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE: AEO) rose 6.40 percent in premarket after the specialty retailer raised its profit view for the full year. The company's third-quarter earnings increased on a 11 percent growth in sales.
Fresh Market Inc. (NASDAQ: TFM) tumbled 14.34 percent in premarket after the company's quarterly earnings trailed Wall Street projections.
PVH Corp. (NYSE: PVH) may be in focus after the sportswear and footwear maker boosted its guidance for the full year following third-quarter results.
Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. (NASDAQ: JOSB) may be in focus after the Hampstead, Maryland-based apparel retailer posted an unexpected drop in third-quarter profit, citing Hurricane Sandy and decline in operating margin due to additional markdowns and promotional activity. The company said it remains "cautious' for the outcome of the fourth quarter.
European markets traded in red, with Germany's DAX down 0.36 percent to trade at 7,305.97. France's CAC40 fell 0.40 percent to trade at 3,488.09. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 dipped 0.28 percent to trade at 5,783.56.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index declined 0.89 percent to finish at 1,973.52. Japan's Nikkei 225 shed 1.22 percent to finish at 9,308.35. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.62 percent to end at 21,708.98. India's BSE Sensex was shut for a holiday.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures dropped 1.01 percent to $86.30 per barrel. Gold futures shed 0.41 percent to $1,737.70 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro declined 0.43 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2887, and the British pound shed 0.35 percent to 1.5966. The dollar lost 0.39 percent against the Japanese yen to 81.8400.