A Wall Street sign outside the New York Stock Exchange
A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 28, 2013.

U.S. stock indexes were set for a lower open on Wednesday after sharp gains on Wall Street in the previous session as investors parsed through earnings reports from companies for impact of spiraling inflation on growth.

Fresh uncertainties stemming from the conflict in Ukraine also weighed on sentiment as Russian forces shelled eastern and southern Ukraine, according to reports, after Washington said it saw signs Moscow was preparing to formally annex territory it has seized during nearly five months of war.

Netflix Inc's shares gained 4.8% premarket after the company predicted it would return to customer growth during the third quarter, while posting a 1 million drop in subscribers in the second quarter.

The streaming service provider was the first among big-tech firms to report quarterly results, raising hopes that they will perform well despite a rocky global economic backdrop.

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 2% on Tuesday, while the Nasdaq rose 3%, following strong corporate earnings.

"Futures were pointing to a higher opening trying to build on yesterday's strong rally, however, they have since turned down a little bit, so I suspect there's some profit taking," Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

"Once the earnings come in, if we see a repeat of yesterday (good set of earnings) then I think this profit taking will be short lived."

While Friday's upbeat data on retail sales and consumer sentiment eased some concerns around the economy, fears of a recession or a sharp slowdown remain as the U.S. Federal Reserve raises interest rates to check inflation.

Runaway inflation initially led markets to price in a full 100-basis-point hike in interest rates at the Fed's upcoming meeting next week, until some policymakers signaled a 75-basis-point increase.

In this reporting season, analysts expect aggregate year-on-year S&P 500 profit to grow 5.8%, down from the 6.8% estimate at the start of the quarter, according to Refinitiv data.

Electric-vehicle maker Tesla Inc gained 0.6% ahead of its earnings report after market close, while shares of Apple Inc and Meta Platforms Inc rose 0.5% each.

At 8:42 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 107 points, or 0.34%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 12.75 points, or 0.32%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 27.5 points, or 0.22%.

Merck & Co Inc dropped 0.8% as the company's cancer therapy Keytruda failed to meet the main goal of a late-stage trial testing it in patients with head and neck cancer.

Baker Hughes Co fell 5.8% as the oilfield services provider reported a bigger second-quarter loss, while its adjusted profit also missed analysts' estimates.

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., June 30, 2022.