Stock index futures rose on Wednesday, putting the benchmark S&P 500 on track for its sixth day of gains in the past seven, as Slovakia moved to reach a deal on expanding the euro zone rescue fund.

* Slovakia's political parties will hold talks later Wednesday to come up with a deal after lawmakers rejected a plan to bolster the European Financial Stability Facility bailout fund. Slovakia is the last country in the 17-member currency zone left to approve the plan.

* German Chancellor Angela Merkel weighed in, saying she expected full ratification by the European Union summit on October 23.

* S&P 500 futures rose 11.5 points and were 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 climbed 112 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 24.25 points.

* Alcoa Inc shares fell 2.6 percent to $10.03 in premarket trade a day after the largest U.S. aluminum producer said third-quarter profit was lower than the second quarter and fell short of already-reduced expectations due to a slump in global metal prices.

* Early Wednesday, PepsiCo Inc
reported higher quarterly earnings, helped by strong international growth and the acquisition of a Russian beverage company.

* Host Hotels and Resorts Inc also posted quarterly results.

* Investors will also keep an eye on the Federal Open Market Committee's minutes from its September 20-21 meeting, to be released at 2 p.m. EDT.

* Research In Motion Ltd will be in the spotlight after millions of BlackBerry smartphone customers across four continents were without email, messaging and browsing service after a series of failures in its private network.

* European shares rose 1 percent, hitting their highest in more than five weeks, with mining stocks among the biggest winners, helped by higher metals prices and better-than-expected economic data. <.EU>

* A rebound in Chinese shares helped lift most Asian stocks into positive territory, but advances were limited by concerns that corporate earnings would be weighed down by the fallout from Europe's debt crisis.

* U.S. stocks took a breather on Tuesday after the best five days for the S&P 500 in more than two years as investors looked to earnings for a reason to extend a market rebound.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)