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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing slightly lower Wednesday, signaling a weaker start on Wall Street following declines in Europe and Asia.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 2.1% to close at 10,486.99, a day after the Bank of Japan said it would undertake open-ended asset purchases starting in 2014. Hong Kong's Hang Seng fell 0.1%.


The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes the Mortgage Bankers Association's Weekly Mortgage Market Index at 7 a.m. EST, and the FHFA House Price Index at 9 a.m.


U.S. stocks on Tuesday ended higher as investors digested a handful of earnings reports and economic data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 62 points, or 0.46%, to finish at 13,712. The blue-chip index remained on pace for its biggest monthly gain since October 2011.

The S&P 500 climbed 7 points, or 0.44%, to 1493. The Nasdaq increased 8 points, or 0.27%, to 3143.


The U.S. House of representatives votes Wednesday on a motion to increase the nation's $16.4 trillion borrowing limit for three months.

President Obama, the White House said, would sign the bill if it gets the OK from Congress.


Google(GOOG) , the search giant, posted fourth-quarter earnings growth of 12%.

Google earned $10.65 a share in the quarter on $11.3 billion in revenue, excluding traffic acquisition costs. With TAC, Google generated $14.42 billion in sales, up 36% from the same period last year.


IBM (IBM) topped Wall Street's fourth-quarter earnings estimates, boosted by strength in its software business.


Apple(AAPL) , the iPod, iPhone and iPad maker, is expected by analysts Wednesday to post quarterly earnings of $13.43 a share on revenue of close to $55 billion.


McDonald's(MCD) , the world's biggest fast-food chain, is expected by analysts Wednesday to report fourth-quarter earnings of $1.33 a share on revenue of $6.89 billion.


Texas Instruments(TXN) beat analysts' fourth-quarter estimates on Tuesday, but warned of weak demand.


Shares of Dell(DELL) jumped 2.2% Tuesday following reports that Microsoft(MSFT) could invest as $3 billion in an eventual takeover of the struggling PC maker.


-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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