Empresas y finanzas

Sstock futures signal dip on Wall Street

(Reuters) - Stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.38 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.37 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.48 percent at 1018 GMT (5:18 a.m. EST).

Investors were bracing for a flurry of earnings from financial majors such as Bank of America , Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo .

Tech shares will also be in focus after IBM raised its 2010 profit outlook and posted a higher-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter earnings, boosted by cost cuts and a shift to more profitable contracts. IBM shares traded in Frankfurt were down 0.3 percent.

ASML , the world's largest maker of semiconductor lithography machines, which map out electronic circuits on silicon wafers, posted fourth-quarter new orders that beat expectations as the market continued to improve, but the company stopped short of calling a full industry recovery.

Commodities lost ground, with oil futures down 90 cents at $78.14 a barrel and copper prices stumbling, hit by signs that China is stepping up efforts to curb lending.

Chinese banking authorities have instructed some major banks to curb their lending over the rest of this month, official media and banking sources said on Wednesday, sending China's key stock index <.SSEC> down 2.9 percent.

On the macro front, investors awaited data on producer prices, housing starts and building permits, all due at 1330 GMT (8:30 a.m. EST).

Sovereign wealth fund Korea Investment Corp (KIC) will hold its shares in Bank of America, , which have more room to rise and still favors equities in general, its chief investment officer said on Wednesday.

Japan's Nikkei average fell 0.3 percent on Wednesday as Nomura Holdings and other securities firms slid after a brokerage downgrade.

European shares dropped 0.3 percent in morning trade, dragged lower by resource-related shares, but the losses were limited by rising pharma stocks such as GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis , buoyed by the results of the election in Massachusetts that put President Barack Obama's healthcare reforms in jeopardy.

U.S. stocks rose broadly on Tuesday, lifting the Dow and the S&P 500 to fresh 15-month closing highs as investors bet a potential Republican victory in Massachusetts' Senate race could stall Obama's reform agenda.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> jumped 115.78 points, or 1.09 percent, to end at 10,725.43. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shot up 14.20 points, or 1.25 percent, to 1,150.23. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 32.41 points, or 1.42 percent, to 2,320.40.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Sharon Lindores)

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