U.S. futures lower on E.Z. worries; Dow Jones down 0.48%

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Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open on Wednesday, ahead of U.S. housing data, as concerns over the financial stability of the euro zone and ongoing political uncertainty in Italy weighed on market sentiment.

Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.48% drop, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.47% slump, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.45% decline.

Investors remained concerned that the bailout deal for Cyprus could set a precedent for future bailouts in larger euro zone states, with big bank depositors and senior bond holders forced to suffer losses.

Meanwhile, worries over a political stalemate in Italy mounted after a leading Italian politician cast doubt on prospects for forming a new government.

Sentiment weakened further following media reports that Pier Luigi Bersani, the head of Italy's center-left alliance, ruled out forming a coalition government, saying that only an "insane person" would want to govern Italy.

Tech stocks were expected to be active, after T-Mobile USA said Tuesday it will start selling Apple's iPhone on April 12, making it the last of the big national U.S. operators to sell the smartphone.

Apple shares were down 0.79% in pre-market trade.

Separately, Apple reportedly asked to proceed with a new trial on 14 Samsung Electronics products for which a U.S. judge overturned a jury patent-infringement award.

In the same sector, Ericsson was reportedly in talks to buy Microsoft's IPTV business, which makes software used by phone companies to deliver television over the Internet.

Retailers were also likely to be in focus, after Wal-Mart Stores said in a regulatory filing on Tuesday that it is now "probable" it will incur losses relating to allegations that company representatives had bribed officials in Mexico to speed up expansion there.

Elsewhere, Cliffs iron-ore producer plunged 8.07% in early trading, as Morgan Stanley cut its recommendation on the company to "underweight" from "equal weight".

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were mixed to higher. The EURO STOXX 50 tumbled 1.73%, France's CAC 40 plunged 1.74%, Germany's DAX declined 1.25%, while Britain's FTSE 100 retreated 0.70%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index gained 0.69%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index added 0.18%.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to produce industry data in pending home sales and a government report on crude oil stockpiles.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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