Stock index futures rose on Wednesday, a day after markets clawed back from a steep sell-off and as U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner flew to Europe to press for united action to tackle the region's deepening debt crisis.
Banks and industrial stocks, among the worst-hit issues in the pullback, gained in premarket trading. Citigroup Inc rose 2.9 percent after a brokerage upgrade, while industrial conglomerate General Electric Co was up 1.4 percent.
We are looking at a bit of a bounce here this morning, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners. What we're seeing here is bargain hunting coming in. Yesterday's action is a good indication that the correction is nearing it's end.
S&P 500 futures rose 9.2 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 rose 82 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 15.25 points.
Geithner, in an apparent criticism of Germany, called for a carefully designed global approach to financial reform as he arrived for talks about euro-zone debt troubles that is shaking world markets and fueling fears about a double-dip recession.
U.S. indexes have entered a technical correction, falling more that 10 percent from a recent peak on April 23. But Tuesday's late rally pushed the Dow industrials back above the psychologically important 10,000 level.
European stocks rose 2.3 percent Wednesday morning, bouncing back from nine-month lows in the previous session, as investors sought bargains among beaten-down issues. Japan's Nikkei average rose 0.7 percent, a day after tumbling to a six-month low.
The euro slipped but was off near four-year lows against the dollar. Sentiment remained shaky on worries that the euro-zone crisis could slow the flow of credit, hurt banks and undermine a global recovery.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's chief economist told Reuters a return to recession is unlikely in the euro zone and a drop in the value of the euro should help offset the toll that debt-shrinking austerity measures takes on economic growth.
In a further sign of tensions on the Korean peninsula, North Korea threatened to close the last road link with the South if Seoul goes ahead with anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts as Washington pressured China to help persuade the North to change its ways.
On the macro front, investors awaited monthly data on durable goods orders, due at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and new home sales, due at 10 a.m. EDT. Wall Street is questioning the strength of the U.S. recovery, partly because of a continued weak labor market.
Oil futures rose 3 percent to near $71 a barrel after a report showed a drop in U.S. gasoline stockpiles.
(Reporting by Edward Krudy; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)