The U.S. stock index futures point to a higher open Wednesday as investor sentiment turned positive after the Bank of Japan announced monetary easing measures to rejuvenate the economic growth momentum. 

 

The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.32 percent, the futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index were up 0.32 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 index were up 0.39 percent. 

 

The National Association of Realtors' home sales report that measures the change in the annualized number of existing residential buildings sold during the previous month will be made public Wednesday. It is expected to rise to 4.55 million units in August, up from 4.47 million units in July.

 

The Census Bureau will publish Wednesday the housing starts, measuring the change in the annualized number of residential buildings that began construction each month. It is expected to show a rise to 765,000 in August, up from 746,000 in July.

 

The Census Bureau will also report the data on building permits, which measure the change in the number of new building permits issued by the government each month. The report is expected to show a fall to 796,000 in August, down from 811,000 in July.

 

On Tuesday, the U.S. markets were flat as investors returned to a watchful mode assessing if the stimulus measures announced by the Federal Reserve were sufficient to rejuvenate economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.09 percent, the S&P 500 Index was down 0.13 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.03 percent.

 

European markets rose Wednesday as investor confidence was lifted by the expectation that the stimulus measures announced by policymakers around the world would help to bolster the global economic growth.  London’s FTSE 100 was up 17.01 points, Germany's DAX 30 Index rose 44.55 points and France's CAC 40 advanced 21.34 points.

 

Asian markets also gained Wednesday as investors welcomed the announcement by the BoJ that it is increasing the size of its asset purchases by 10 trillion yen ($127 billion) to 80 trillion yen. The central bank decided that the increased amount will be used for purchasing treasury discount bills and Japanese government bonds.