After turning lower over the course of the previous session, stocks could see some further downside in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a moderately lower open for the markets, with the Dow futures down by 39 points.
Troubling economic news from overseas may contribute to any early weakness on Wall Street, with a report from Japan showing that the country swung to a trade deficit in July.
The report from the Japanese Finance Ministry showed a trade deficit of 517.4 billion yen in July compared to a trade surplus of 60.3 billion yen in June. Japanese exports fell 8.1 percent year-over-year, while imports rose 2.1 percent.
A negative reaction to quarterly results from Dell (DELL: Quote) is also likely to weigh on the markets, with the PC giant falling by 5.1 percent in pre-market trading.
After the close of trading on Tuesday, Dell reported second quarter adjusted earnings that exceeded analyst estimates but on weaker than expected sales.
The company also lowered its full year earnings outlook and forecast a 2 to 5 percent sequential drop in third quarter revenues.
Meanwhile, shares of Toll Brothers (TOL: Quote) may move to the upside in early trading after the homebuilder reported fiscal third quarter earnings and revenues that exceeded analyst estimates. The company benefited from increased home deliveries and higher selling prices.
Not long after the open, trading could be impacted by the release of the National Association of Realtor's monthly report on existing home sales.
Economists expect the report to show that existing home sales rose to an annual rate of 4.50 million in July from 4.37 million in June.
Nonetheless, trading activity may remain somewhat subdued as traders look ahead to the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest monetary policy meeting later in the afternoon.
Traders are likely to closely scrutinize the minutes, looking for indications regarding to the outlook for further monetary stimulus from the central bank.
Stocks turned lower over the course of the trading day on Tuesday after failing to sustain an early upward move. The downturn came as some traders cashed in on the recent strength in the markets, although selling pressure remained relatively subdued.
The major averages ended the session firmly in negative territory but off their worst levels of the day. The Dow fell 68.06 points or 0.5 percent to 13,203.58, the Nasdaq slipped 8.95 points or 0.3 percent to 3,067.26 and the S&P 500 dropped 4.96 points or 0.4 percent to 1,413.17.
In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower during trading on Wednesday. Japan's Nikkei 225 Index ended the day down by 0.3 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index tumbled by 1.1 percent.
The major European markets have also shown notable moves to the downside on the day. While the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index has fallen by 1.1 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are down by 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
In commodities trading, crude oil for October delivery is slipping $0.32 to $96.52 a barrel in its first day as the front-month contract. An ounce of gold is trading at $1,645, up $2.10 from the previous session's close of $1,642.90. The precious metal jumped $19.90 an ounce on Tuesday.
On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 79.25 yen compared to the 79.29 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.2446 compared to yesterday's $1.2473.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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