Stock index futures rose on Wednesday after the S&P fell 2 percent in the previous session as optimism about corporate earnings offset concerns about an upcoming meeting of European leaders to tackle the region's debt crisis.
Prospects for a comprehensive deal to resolve the crisis at a summit on Wednesday looked dim, with deep disagreements on critical aspects, including how to give the region's bailout fund greater firepower.
This entire crisis still comes down to Italy and Spain and their ability to grow their economy and cut their debt over the next few years. The EU is still awaiting a letter today specifically from Italian officials on how they plan to do so, said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak + Co in New York.
With corporate earnings in high gear, Ford Motor Co reported lower third-quarter earnings but beat estimates. The stock fell 0.3 percent at $12.42 in premarket trade.
Boeing Co shares rose 3.1 percent to $65.70 premarket after the planemaker posted a larger quarterly profit. Also, Boeing's long-delayed 787 Dreamliner takes its first paying passengers later in the day.
WellPoint Inc recorded a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, while Nasdaq OMX Group Inc said profit rose 20 percent from a year ago.
ConocoPhillips reported a lower quarterly profit, hurt by higher taxes and losses on asset sales.
Visa Inc is also due to report later in the day.
S&P 500 futures rose 7.6 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 79 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 11.75 points.
The Commerce Department releases September durable goods orders data at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Economists expect a 0.9 percent drop in durable goods orders, compared with a 0.1 percent decrease in August.
The Commerce Department releases new home sales for September at 10 a.m. EDT. Economists forecast a total of 300,000 annualized units, compared with 295,000 units in August.
Amazon.com Inc issued a far weaker-than-expected outlook for the crucial holiday season quarter as it spent heavily on its new Kindle Fire tablet computer. The stock fell 12 percent to $199.79 in premarket trade after tumbling 18 percent in extended trading.
European shares edged higher in thin, choppy trade on Wednesday ahead of the meeting of regional leaders.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)