(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a lower opening on the Wall Street after a data showed U.S. economy shrank in the fourth quarter and investors await policy statement from the Federal Reserve's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures shed 16 points to 13,892. The Nasdaq futures lost 3.25 points to 2,739.75. Standard and Poor's 500 futures lost 3.10 points to 1,502.
The ADP National Employment report - a measure of the monthly change in non-farm private employment - showed that U.S. companies added 192,000 jobs in January, topping economists expectations of addition of 165,000 private-sector jobs.
A report from the Bureau of Economic Analysis showed real gross domestic product unexpectedly fell at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter from the prior quarter, while expectations were in for the growth of 1.1 percent. GDP measures the annualized change in the inflation-adjusted value of all goods and services produced by the economy.
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The keenly anticipated Fed's latest monetary policy decision will be released at 2:15 pm ET.
Other economic reports of interest due to be released over the week include: nonfarm payrolls, jobless claims and personal spending.
On Tuesday, U.S. stocks ended mostly higher as investors weighed a set of better-than-expected corporate earnings reports.
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In corporate news, Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) surged 8.41 percent after the online retail giant posted double-digit sales growth in the fourth quarter. The company guided first-quarter below consensus.
Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) added 1.43 percent in premarket after the aerospace giant reported an increase in core operating earnings as strong commercial airplane deliveries drove double-digit revenue growth.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE: CHK) surged 10.70 percent in premarket after the natural gas and oil explorer said its chief executive Aubrey McClendon has agreed to retire effective April 1, 2013.
Avery Dennison Corp. (NYSE: AVY) gained 7.91 percent in premarket after the maker of pressure-sensitive materials and brand identification products posted higher fourth-quarter earnings. The company said it will sell its Office and Consumer Products and Designed and Engineered Solutions businesses to CCL Industries Inc. for $500 million in cash.
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB), Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) and Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM) are due to post their quarterly results after the market closes.
European markets traded in red, with Germany's DAX down 0.20 percent to trade at 7,832.38. France's CAC40 fell 0.16 percent to trade at 3,779.87. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 shed 0.06 percent to trade at 6,335.24.
Asian markets closed higher, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index up 1.00 percent to close at 2,382.47. Japan's Nikkei 225 rallied 2.28 percent to finish at 11,113.95. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.71 percent to end at 23,822.06. India's BSE Sensex ended 0.07 percent higher at 20,005.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures traded 0.43 percent higher at $97.99 per barrel. Gold futures added 0.23 percent to $1,666.50 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro advanced 0.33 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3537, and the British pound rose 0.08 percent to 1.5775. The dollar gained 0.58 percent against the Japanese yen to 91.2600.