U.S. stock index futures pointed higher on Wednesday as investors awaited congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke for clues to the U.S. central bank's thinking on the economy.
Bernanke gives semiannual testimony on monetary policy and the state of the economy before the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. Investors wonder if a surprise hike in the discount rate last week could presage a rise in interest rates. The testimony is to start at about 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT).
S&P 500 futures were up 0.6 points and 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 1 point, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 4 points.
On the economic front, the Commerce Dept releases new home sales for January at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total 360,000 annualized units in the month, compared with 342,000 in December.
U.S. stocks suffered their biggest one-day decline in nearly three weeks on Tuesday after a private report showed a sharp drop in consumer confidence, heightening worries about the economy.
(Reporting by Edward Krudy; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)