The Dow Jones Industrial Average was poised for a 100-point drop at the open on Wednesday as a slide in oil prices hit global markets and concerns about the fate of U.S. tax cuts continued to weigh on the mood.
Oil prices slipped for the fourth day running after the International Energy Agency issued a gloomy outlook for demand. Chevron shares were down about 0.7 percent, while those in Exxon slipped 0.3 percent.
Among other decliners, Target slipped 3.64 percent after the retailer issued a disappointing profit forecast for the key holiday quarter.
A flattening Treasury yield curve is also concerning investors as they worry the Federal Reserve may raise interest rates too much, killing longer term inflation and growth.
"It`s a risk-off day. The market is looking for a reason to pause," said Aaron Clark, portfolio manager at GW&K Investment Management.
"There have been signs of weakness developing beneath the surface for a few days with the high yields and concerns about tax deal."
At 8:35 a.m. ET (1235 GMT), Dow e-minis were down 108 points, or 0.46 percent, with 41,654 contracts changing hands.
S&P 500 e-minis were down 11 points, or 0.43 percent, with 285,384 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 21.5 points, or 0.34 percent, on volume of 49,154 contracts.
Data showed U.S. consumer prices edged up 0.1 percent in October, lifting the year-on-year increase in the core CPI to 1.8 percent.
Another report showed retail sales unexpectedly rose in October, suggesting consumer spending remained fairly strong early in the fourth quarter.
IBM fell more than 1 percent after Warren Buffett`s Berkshire Hathaway cut its stake in the company by 32 percent.
Snap was down 2 percent after shareholders including T. Rowe Price and Soros Fund slashed stakes in the Snapchat maker.
(This article has not been edited by Zeebiz editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)