Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wednesday, boosted by strong results from farm equipment maker Deere & Co, as investors awaited data on the housing market and industrial production.
Corporate earnings continue to pour in, as Deere & Co
Housing data, due at 8:30 a.m. EST, may show that housing starts rebounded in January after building permits data jumped to their highest level in 14 months in December.
The median forecast for housing starts is for a rise to an annual rate of 580,000 units in January after having fallen to 557,000 units in December.
Industrial output for January, due at 9:15 a.m. EST is expected to show an increase of 0.7 percent, according to Reuters forecasts.
The market is looking to build on the recent strength and hopefully the economic numbers, specifically housing starts and industrial production will add credibility to the recent rally in the markets, said Andre Bakhos, president of Princeton Financial Group in North Brunswick, New Jersey.
A good economic backdrop paves the way for further equities gains and adds some semblance of stabilization.
Later in the session, the market gets minutes from the last Federal Reserve meeting, which could include more detail on the rate-setting committee's expectations for ending its ultra-loose monetary policy.
The report could show whether Kansas City Fed President Thomas Hoenig's dissent from the central bank's vow to keep rates low for an extended period met any sympathy among his peers.
S&P 500 futures gained 5.4 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 34 points and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 5.25 points.
Also on tap will be earnings from Devon Energy
Rallying banks helped lift European shares to a two-week high on Wednesday, with equities rising for the third session, as forecast-beating results from BNP Paribas
Asian shares leaped to a three-week high on Wednesday, powered by financial and resource shares after investors bought commodities on a weaker dollar, while Hong Kong shares shrugged off China's latest move to temper robust lending.
U.S. stocks posted their biggest daily percentage gain in three months on Tuesday after strong revenue from drugmaker Merck
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 1.7 percent; the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 1.80 percent; the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 1.4 percent.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Theodore d'Afflisio)