US stock markets edged lower at the open Wednesday, continuing the euro and data-inspired drop seen the day before as markets await the latest news from the Federal Reserve.

The major indexes fell into the red amid lingering doubts about a bailout plan for Spain, weak US business confidence figures and the expectation of mediocre earnings.

An hour after the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.35 percent, or 44.84 points, to 12,608.28.

The Nasdaq was down 0.27 percent, 7.86 points, to 2,894.47.

The S&P 500 stood at 1,340.62, down 0.85 points, or 0.06 percent.

Markets were also looking ahead to minutes from the Federal Reserve's most recent policy meeting, which will be released at 1800 GMT.

Oil firms were among the Dow winners, with Chevron up 1.2 percent and ExxonMobil up almost one percent.

The US bond market weakened slightly.

The 10-year Treasury yield rose 0.01 points to 1.51 percent, while the yield on the 30-year rose by the same margin to 2.61

percent. Yields go up as prices go down. - Sapa-AFP