Stocks: Caution returns as tech stumbles

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Following three days of stock market gains, investors are feeling cautious again after Google and IBM posted earnings that disappointed Wall Street.

U.S. stock futures were edging lower ahead of the opening bell.

Shares in IBM (IBM) were down by about 4% in premarket trading after the firm posted disappointing earnings and revenue numbers late Wednesday.

Shares in Google (GOOGL) were also sinking premarket after reporting earnings that missed analysts' expectations.

"[It's] another tough day for tech," said Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.

Continuing the downbeat tech theme, China's Weibo was reported to have raised less money than originally planned in its initial public offering. The shares begin trading on the Nasdaq Thursday.

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30

Rising tensions in eastern Ukraine were adding to the unsettled tone. European, U.S., Russian and Ukrainian officials are meeting in Geneva Thursday to try to find ways to resolve the crisis. President Obama has warned of new sanctions against Russia if the talks fail.

"A double earnings miss from Google and IBM following the U.S. market close, comments from the Chinese premier suggesting that the government will keep its policies unchanged, and an upcoming press conference from Russia's President Putin has put a small dampener on sentiment today," wrote Deutsche Bank analyst Jim Reid, in a market report.

China GDP data published Wednesday showed the world's second largest economy is slowing, but not as dramatically as some had feared.

Looking to the day ahead, earnings season continues with many large firms including Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), General Electric (GE) and PepsiCo (PEP) reporting before the open.

In economic news, the Labor Department will release the number of jobless claims made last week at 8:30 a.m. ET. The Philadelphia Fed will release its index measuring manufacturing in the Philadelphia region at 10 a.m. ET.

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U.S. stocks closed higher Wednesday as corporate earnings, economic data and Fed chair Janet Yellen brought comforting news. The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 162 points in its third consecutive day of gains, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq both rose by over 1%.

As it stands now, all the main U.S. market indexes have rallied by roughly 2.5% over the past week.

European markets were generally lower in morning trading.

Asian markets ended with mixed results.

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