U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher start for Wall Street on Wednesday, on track to reverse the previous session's losses, with futures for the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all up around 0.2 percent by 04:40 a.m. EST.
Shares were expected to rebound from Tuesday's declines, when the Dow and the S&P 500 fell in a volatile session as fears that a $1 trillion bailout for Europe won't solve the region's deep-seated problems blunted an improving U.S. economic picture.
European shares rose 1 percent in morning trade on Wednesday, boosted by strong quarterly results from a number of banks and after Spain unveiled tough austerity measures that eased fears on how euro zone countries will cut budget deficits.
Investors are likely to focus on quarterly results from Cisco on Wednesday. Analysts expect Cisco's earnings to have risen to $0.39 per share for its fiscal third quarter from $0.30 in the same quarter of 2009, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
U.S. federal investigators are probing whether Morgan Stanley misled investors about mortgage derivative products it helped create and sometimes bet against, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.
The bank's chief executive James Gorman, however, said he had no knowledge of any U.S. federal investigation into the Wall Street firm.
Macy's kicks off a barrage of department store results. It is expected to say that a solid recovery in sales helped it break even for the first quarter, after it suffered a big loss a year ago.
Whole Foods Market's second-quarter results are expected to show continued strength after first-quarter identical-store sales rose 2.5 percent to end five quarters of declines. Wall Street is expecting earnings of $0.33 per share, up from $0.19 in the year-ago quarter.
Microsoft Corp launches an updated version of its Office software on Wednesday, aiming to keep its grip on the hugely profitable business application market while countering the challenge of free online alternatives from Google Inc .
The U.S. Senate on Tuesday challenged the Federal Reserve's tradition of secrecy but postponed an overhaul of mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under a massive reform of banking regulations.
AIG is in talks with Prudential Plc to restructure a $35.5 billion deal to sell its Asian life insurance unit to the British insurer, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.
Macroeconomic data set for release on Wednesday include the Mortgage Index weekahead at 7 a.m. EST, International Trade data for March at 8:30 a.m. EST and the Federal Budget at 2 p.m. EST.
(Reporting by Harpreet Bhal; Editing by Hans Peters)