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U.S. stock-index futures slumped on Wednesday as traders parsed through the latest round of corporate earnings and awaited housing data and Fed minutes.
As of 8:08 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 19 points to 14966, S&P 500 futures dipped 2 points to 1649 and Nasdaq 100 futures slumped 4.3 points to 3077.
The broad S&P 500 managed to snap a four-day slump on Tuesday, but the Dow extended its losing streak to five days. The pace of activity was due to heat up on Wednesday.
The Federal Reserve releases minutes from its last meeting at 2:00 p.m. ET. Analysts will be paying close attention to any hints on when the central bank will begin to pare back its massive bond-buying program. The speculation has driven Treasury bond yields sharply higher this year in a move that has shaken Wall Street's confidence.
Also on the economic front, the National Association of Realtors releases its latest reading on existing home sales. Sales of existing, single-family homes are forecast to have climbed to an annual pace of 5.15 million in July from 5.08 million the month prior. This comes as the recovery in the housing market heats up, and provides a boost to the broader economy.
Indeed, Lowe's (LOW) followed Home Depot (HD) in reporting better-than-expected quarterly results on the back of the burgeoning rebound. All wasn't positive in corporate news, however. Staples (SPLS) revealed disappointing quarterly results and Target (TGT) posted mixed mixed results and warned that its full-year profits will come in at the low end of the range.
Elsewhere, oil fell 70 cents, or 0.67%, to $104.432 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.06% to $2.929 a gallon. In metals, gold slumped $7.70, or 0.55%, to $1,365 a troy ounce.
The Euro Stoxx 50 fell 0.4% to 2777, the English FTSE 100 dipped 0.61% to 6414 and the German DAX slumped 0.19% to 8284.
In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 rose 0.21% to 13424 and the Chinese Hang Seng slid 0.69% to 21817.