By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch
MADRID (MarketWatch) -- Wall Street was setting up for a struggle at the open on Wednesday, with stock futures flat to lower ahead of minutes from the most recent Federal Open Market Committee meeting, which could shed light on how and when the central bank will hike rates.
Shares of Alcoa Inc. could see a further boost after the aluminum maker beat expectations with results late Tuesday.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJU4) fell 12 points to 16,848, while those for the S&P 500 index (SPU4) eased 0.2 point to 1,960.20. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index (NDU4) rose 1.5 points to 3,864.75.
The only economic event on the calendar -- but still key -- are the minutes of the June 17-18 Fed meeting, which are due out at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Minutes may shed some light on how and when the Fed will hike
"Investors will be hoping that June's Fed minutes, released later today, will provide some clarity and reassurance that (Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet) Yellen can continue to hold sway over her more hawkish colleagues," said Rebecca O'Keefe, head of investment at stockbroker Interactive Investor, in a note. "However, if the strong employment data we have seen over the past week continue, that may not last."
The Dow industrials (DJI) and S&P 500 (SPX) pulled further away from record levels onTuesday, driven by a selloff of momentum stocks such as biotech and Internet companies. Each index lost 0.7%, while the Russell 2000 (RUT) sank 1.2%, adding to steep losses on Monday.
The selling isn't deterring everyone. SunTrust Robinson Humphrey's managing director Bob Peck told CNBC on Tuesday that he'd be a buyer of Amazon.com Inc.(AMZN), Facebook Inc. (FB) and Google Inc. (GOOG), after those stocks sold off.
Earnings from Alcoa will grab some attention Wednesday. Shares rose more than 2% in late trading after the company said it swung to a second-quarter profit.
Shares of Gigamon Inc.(GIMO) could follow up a 28% plunge in late trading Tuesday. The networking-hardware company lowered its second-quarter revenue guidance.
Another big loser could be Container Store Group Inc. (TCS) after the organization-product company posted a loss of 7 cents, a penny more than expected. Alcoa, Container Store, WD-40 are stocks to watch
On the heels of that losing session in the U.S., Europe's Stoxx 600 headed for the fourth day in the red, while the Hong Kong Hang Seng index lost 1.6% after softer-than-expected inflation data from China.
Crude-oil prices (CLQ4) were largely stable, while gold (GCQ4) moved higher. The dollar (DXY) was mostly higher.
More must-reads from MarketWatch:
Dow 17,000 is on the wrong side of history
6 companies that should report huge earnings gains
Markets dash investors 'Turnaround Tuesday' hopes
Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 09, 2014 06:20 ET (10:20 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2014 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.