U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Wednesday as weakness in the U.S. dollar underpinned natural resource shares, including gold miners, ahead of key data on October housing starts and consumer prices.
Shares of Newmont Mining Corp jumped 1.6 percent in Europe, while Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc climbed 2 percent, as spot gold prices hit a fresh record high near $1,150 an ounce.
The run-up in commodity stocks helped lead European stocks to trade near their highest level in more than 13 months.
The dollar weakened broadly Wednesday after the currency recorded its biggest rise in three weeks in the previous session.
At 8:30 a.m. EST, investors will be bracing for the release of consumer price index figures for October. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a 0.2 percent rise, a repeat of the September increase.
Also, the Commerce Department will release October housing starts and permits at 8:30 a.m. EST. Economists forecast an annualized rate of 600,000 versus a September rate of 590,000.
S&P 500 futures rose 1.10 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 added 19 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.25 points.
BJ's Wholesale Club Inc reported lower quarterly profit on Wednesday, hurt by falling food prices and lackluster demand for its general merchandise.
Wednesday's earnings scoreboard also features NetApp Inc and Limited Brands Inc .
Kraft Foods Inc will be in focus after sources said chocolate makers Hershey Co and Ferrero SpA were considering a joint bid for British confectioner Cadbury Plc that could help thwart Kraft's hostile takeover effort.
U.S. stocks rose to fresh 13-month highs on Tuesday as upbeat broker views on improving prospects for two Dow components offset weak holiday spending outlooks from Target Corp and Home Depot Inc .
Even so, Tuesday's underlying tone was negative as investors fretted about the strength of an economic recovery and a recent rally.
With Tuesday's slim gain, the benchmark S&P 500 <.SPX> index is up 64.1 percent from its 12-year closing low on March 9.
(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)