Stock Futures Flat After Jobless Claims Data
At 10 a.m., the Conference Board's leading economic indicators index is expected to have risen 0.2% in October after increasing by 0.6% in September.
The FTSE 100 in London was down 0.06%, while the DAX in Germany was up 0.06%.
Japan's Nikkei average settled up 0.87% on Wednesday and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed higher by 1.39%.
Gold for December delivery was up $2.70 at $1,726.30 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while January crude oil contracts were up 81 cents at $87.56.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury was up 1/32, lowering the yield to 1.667%. The dollar was up 0.06%, according to the U.S. dollar index.
In corporate news, Deere(DE) shares were sliding nearly 3.5% after the agricultural equipment maker posted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings below analysts' estimates amid higher production costs and increased selling, administrative and general, and research and development expenses.
The company reported earnings of $1.75 a share on revenue of $9.79 billion; analysts, on average, were expecting a profit of $1.88 a share on revenue of $8.85 billion.
Salesforce.com(CRM) , the cloud computing company, on Tuesday delivered a 35% year-over-year revenue increase in its latest quarter.
The company reported non-GAAP earnings of $49.6 million, or 33 cents a share, for the third quarter on revenue of $788 million. Analysts expected profit of 32 cents a share on revenue of $776.5 million.
Salesforce.com forecast non-GAAP earnings of 38 cents to 40 cents a share in its fiscal fourth quarter on revenue ranging from $825 million to $830 million. Wall Street's current consensus view is for a profit of 40 cents a share on revenue of $829.9 million.
News Corp owns HarperCollins Publishers and the Journal.
The people described the discussions as preliminary and cautioned that a deal isn't imminent, the newspaper said.
News Corp shares were up 0.54%.
Zale(ZLC) , the jewelry retailer, reported a wider-than-expected fiscal first-quarter loss on Tuesday.
Zale said it expects to be profitable for fiscal 2013.
Shares were falling 14%.
Scholastic(SCHL) , the publishing company, lowered its fiscal-year outlook after Tuesday's closing bell.
Scholastic shares were plunging 23%.
Cirrus Logic (CRUS) shares were popping more than 6% after the board of the high-precision analog and digital signal processing components supplier approved $200 million in share buybacks.
-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.
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