Stock index futures pointed to a higher open for Wall Street on Wednesday, the day after it posted its biggest daily percentage gain in three months, on optimism for the economy.
At 1013 GMT, futures for the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were all up 0.3 percent.
The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of leading European shares was up 1 percent at 1,012.27 points, rising for a seventh session in eight, with BNP Paribas
Housing data, due at 1330 GMT (8:30 a.m. EST), is likely to show that housing starts rebounded in January after building permits, which give a sense of future home construction, jumped to their highest level in 14 months in December.
But analysts caution that poor weather may cause the strength from permits to be slow to feed through to construction activity. 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.
Data on the government's indebtedness is expected to show the deficit shrinking substantially from a year ago as the worst of the crisis passed. Analysts expect a shortfall of $47 billion, down from the $63.46 billion deficit in January of 2009.
Industrial output for January rose 0.7 percent, according to Reuters forecasts. The data is due at 1415 GMT (9:15 a.m. EST).
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. Chairman Ben Bernanke rattled markets last week with published testimony that talked about impending measures to soak up emergency liquidity.
The report could shed some light on 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.
Deere & Co
Following a rebound in natural gas prices industry watchers will be closely eyeing results from Devon Energy
Technology giant Hewlett Packard
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.
Shares of Whole Foods Market Inc
(Reporting by Brian Gorman; Editing by Erica Billingham)