Stock index futures pointed to a higher open for equities on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500, for the Dow Jones and for the Nasdaq 100 up 0.6 to 1 percent.
The Federal Reserve looks set to take a breather from monetary stimulus measures on Wednesday, even if financial market turbulence heightens the chances of action later.
At 2:15 p.m. EDT, the Federal Reserve's Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a media briefing following the two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on interest rate policy.
The Mortgage Bankers Association releases Weekly Mortgage Market Index for the week ended October 28 versus the prior week at 1100 GMT. The mortgage market index read 664.0 and the refinancing index was 3,546.7 in the previous week.
Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc releases at 7:30 a.m. EDT its report on job cuts for October. Challenger reported 115,730 layoffs in September.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries posted lower third-quarter net profit that beat profit estimates as strong European sales helped offset a lack of launches in its U.S. generics drug business.
Automatic Data Processing (ADP) releases its October employment report at 8:15 a.m. EDT. Economists in a Reuters survey expect 101,000 jobs were created in October versus 91,000 new jobs in September.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc said it is offering an early preview of its Black Friday deals starting Wednesday and will also hold an early holiday sale beginning Saturday.
MF Global Holdings Ltd failed to protect customer accounts by keeping them separate from its own funds, said a top U.S. exchange regulator, another shock for commodity markets scrambling to contain fallout from the brokerage's bankruptcy.
U.S. banks have not done enough to ensure they are well capitalized, and getting back to a system where retail and investment banking are separated would be attractive in terms of reform, Bill Gross, manager of the world's largest bond fund PIMCO, said on Tuesday.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold said on Tuesday that production and processing rates at its strike-hit Grasberg nine in Indonesia have fallen below levels needed to meet fourth-quarter sales targets.
On the earnings front, Kraft Foods announces results. Its profit is seen at 55 cents per share, up from 47 a year earlier. Other companies posting results include Mastercard Comcast, Time Warner, News Corp and Devon Energy.
European stocks rose 0.5 percent on Wednesday as hopes the Federal Reserve may offer hints of further measures to boost the U.S. economy overshadowed brewing concerns over the euro zone debt crisis and helped shares bounce after a two-day sell-off.
Greece's prime minister won the backing of his cabinet on Wednesday to hold a referendum on a 130 billion euro bailout package but will find the stunned euro zone leaders who engineered the deal last week harder to convince.
U.S. stocks tumbled on Tuesday after investors were blindsided by a surprise call for a Greek referendum on an EU bailout plan, casting doubt on the sustainability of the recent market rally.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 297.05 points, or 2.48 percent, to 11,657.96. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 35.02 points, or 2.79 percent, to 1,218.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 77.45 points, or 2.89 percent, to 2,606.96.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Hans-Juergen Peters)