U.S. stock index futures pointed to a sharply lower open Wednesday, following negative sentiment seen from markets overseas, as investors geared up for more earnings and data.
Looking to markets in other regions, trade in Europe was poor with several markets trading in the red during early market trade, while markets in Asia finished lower.
In the previous trading session, U.S. equities closed in negative territory, with concerns about a potential global economic slowdown and issues surrounding U.S. tax reform weighing on sentiment.
On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average futures fell more than 100 points at 5:00 a.m. ET.
Commodities seemed to have some influence on trade, as oil prices declined after the IEA slashed its outlook for oil demand growth by 100,000 barrels per day for 2017 and 2018. At 5:10 a.m. ET, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) slipped to trade around $ 55.18, while Brent hovered around $ 61.60 per barrel.
A slew of data is set to be released Wednesday. At 8:30 a.m. ET, retail sales, consumer price index (CPI) data and the Empire State Manufacturing survey are all scheduled for release.
Business inventories are set to be released at 10 a.m. ET, while Treasury International Capital (TIC) data is due out at 4 p.m. ET. Mortgage applications will also be released, as usual, at 7 a.m. ET.
In earnings, Tencent, Target, Cisco Systems and L Brands are some of the big brands set to publish their latest financial figures.
Looking to the U.S. Federal Reserve, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren is expected to deliver remarks on the U.S. economic outlook, at Northeastern University’s Economic Policy Forum in Boston on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, prior to the market open, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans called for the U.S. central bank to respond by signaling the likelihood of higher inflation ahead, when speaking at a conference in London, Reuters reported.
In the U.S., the future of a tax reform deal is expected to add uncertainty to markets throughout the trading day, as investors remain on edge over whether a reform will take place during 2017.