(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a flat opening on the Wall Street ahead of a vote on extending the nation's debt ceiling and investors digested a set of corporate earnings reports.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures slid 10 points to 13,685. The Nasdaq futures added 1 point to 2,752. Standard and Poor's 500 futures dipped 2.40 points to 1,487.
U.S. House Republicans vote today on increasing the debt ceiling through mid-May. The White House said it supported "a long-term raising of the debt ceiling so that we don't have any doubt or uncertainty for businesses or the global economy."
On the earnings front, Google (GOOG) and International Business Machines (IBM) posted strong quarterly results and Apple (AAPL) is due to post its numbers after the market closes.
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On the domestic data front, Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price Index for November is due at 9 a.m. ET, with expectations of a 0.6 percent rise in house prices.
On Tuesday, U.S. stocks closed in green buoyed by a set of better-than-expected corporate earnings reports from DuPont (DD) and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (FCX).
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Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) surged 5.11 percent in premarket after the search-engine giant posted a 6.6 percent rise in quarterly earnings on a 36 percent revenue growth.
IBM (NYSE: IBM) jumped 3.92 percent in premarket after the information technology (IT) giant reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue and issued an upbeat forecast.
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is expected to post earnings of $13.44 a share on revenue growth of 18 percent to $54.7 billion for the three months ended December.
Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) shed 1.67 percent in premarket after the chip maker posted mixed quarterly results for the fourth quarter and issued a downbeat earnings forecast as macro-economic concerns continue to mute growth and recovery in the semiconductor sector.
St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE: STJ) posted quarterly earnings that topped Wall Street projections amid strong growth of its atrial fibrillation business and the medical device maker issued an upbeat guidance. Shares inched higher in premarket.
McDonald's Corp. (NYSE: MCD) reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter results on improved U.S. sales. However, it expects near-term top and bottom-line growth to remain pressured, with January's global comparable sales expected to be negative. Shares rose in premarket.
Coach Inc. (NYSE: COH) tumbled 16.64 percent in premarket after the designer of handbags posted quarterly results that missed market expectations amid challenging holiday season in North America.
Quest Diagnostics Inc. (NYSE: DGX) slumped 5.77 percent in premarket after company reported a lower fourth quarter profit that missed Wall Street estimates by a penny as Hurricane Sandy and restructuring charges weighed on results. The company also guided 2013 earnings and revenue below Street view.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) rose 1.63 percent in premarket after quarterly results from the chip maker came in better than market projections.
European markets traded mixed, with Germany's DAX up 0.17 percent to trade at 7,708.97. France's CAC40 shed 0.39 percent to trade at 3,726.34. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 added 0.18 percent to trade at 6,189.63.
Asian markets closed mixed, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index up 0.25 percent to close at 2,320.91. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 2.08 percent to finish at 10,486.99. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index shed 0.10 percent to end at 23,635.10. India's BSE Sensex ended 0.23 percent higher at 20,026.61.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures inched 0.05 percent higher to $96.24 per barrel. Gold futures slid 0.01 percent to $1,692.80 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro rose 0.08 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3333, and the British pound advanced 0.18 percent to 1.5867. The dollar dropped 0.30 percent against the Japanese yen to 88.4400.