Stock index futures rose on Wednesday, indicating shares could bounce back after two sessions of losses as investors regain some optimism about the strength of the market rally.
The Obama administration plans to announce on Wednesday it intends to extend the life of the $700 billion financial bailout fund until next October, administration officials said.
Healthcare stocks could see interest after Senate Democratic healthcare negotiators said they agreed to replace a government-run insurance option with a scaled-back non-profit plan.
After a market rally of more than 60 percent from March's 12-year low, stocks have drifted in recent sessions as investors locked in profits and looked ahead to the new year. With the broad S&P 500 up nearly 21 percent for 2009, investors are reluctant to lose any gains.
Traders want to know if this is the start of a new trend downward or just a reaction to news that snaps back, said Barry Ritholtz, director of equity research at Fusion IQ in New York. So far it looks like the bet is this is going to be a modest snap back after (a) fall.
Stocks fell 1 percent on Tuesday after disappointing corporate news from 3M Co
S&P 500 futures rose 4.80 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 gained 43 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures added 7.75 points.
On the corporate front, chip maker Texas Instruments Inc
Ritholtz said the question for investors is when companies will see improvement from growth rather than cost cuts.
We have yet to hear a major CEO say it's clear the worst is behind us and we're expecting to see not only profits but revenue ramp up, said Ritholtz.
Energy shares could get support as the price of oil rose more than 1 percent above $73 a barrel on industry data showing a big drop in U.S. crude stocks and a weaker U.S. dollar.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)