Stock index futures edged higher on Wednesday as leaders in Greece again attempted to reach a deal on reforms in exchange for a new bailout.
The recent delays stirred European Union officials to warn Greece that the euro zone could continue without the fiscally troubled nation, which needs a rescue package to avoid an unruly default.
The anticipation is that they are going to work out the Greek problem one way or the other here. Then we are probably going to have to face Portugal down the road, and we will probably have to face Greece again down the road, depending on how they deal with it, said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.
The issue is, are you going to have a Lehman-type financial crisis, and the market's take on that so far is probably not.
In Europe, shares hit a new six-month high with cyclical stocks extending a strong run as investors became more confident that economic growth would boost company earnings and overshadow Greece concerns. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.4 percent.
S&P 500 futures rose 1.4 points and were slightly 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 gained 21 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 4.75 points.
Walt Disney Co's quarterly revenue fell short of expectations after a poor showing from the movies unit, but it said late Tuesday profit grew faster than expected as its TV networks and theme parks held strong despite the weak economy. Shares fell 1.4 percent to $40.40 in premarket trade.
Time Warner Inc gained 2.3 percent to $38.99 after reporting better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by its cable networks and the last installment of its Harry Potter movie franchise.
Sprint Nextel Corp shares was up 0.4 percent to $2.46 premarket, losing early gains, after posting its fourth-quarter results.
Visa Inc, due later Wednesday, is expected to come in with a profit of $1.45 per share, up from $1.23 a year ago, helped by a rise in consumer spending in the holiday season.
Other companies due to report include Cisco Systems Inc and News Corp.
Cisco is expected to post a stable quarter, lifted by improving U.S. enterprise demand a year after the network equipment maker issued a weak outlook.
Investors will also eye Groupon Inc, coming with its first results as a public company, to see if the largest daily deal website makes its first quarterly profit. Groupon is expected to report earnings of 3 cents per share on revenue of $475 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
According to Thomson Reuters data through Tuesday morning, of the 301 companies in the S&P 500 posting results, 60 percent topped expectations, tracking below recent quarters at this point of the reporting season.
Asian shares hit their highest level in more than five months as investors kept hopes alive for an agreement on details of a new Greek bailout package.
(Reporting By Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)