Stock index futures rose on Wednesday on the heels of better-than-expected earnings from technology bellwether Intel Corp , setting the stage for a seventh straight day of gains.
Investors are also looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's economic forecasts, which will be released Wednesday afternoon alongside the minutes from the Fed's most recent monetary policy meeting. Some are expecting Fed officials to cut their outlook for U.S. economic growth, tracking recent moves by Wall Street economists.
Dow component Intel also posted revenue late on Tuesday that was above the consensus analyst forecast, allaying concerns about a slowdown in technology business spending. The stock gained 5.9 percent to $22.25 in premarket trading.
With the S&P 500 index up 8 percent from a recent intraday low on July 1, investors are scrutinizing early second-quarter earnings reports for evidence that the rally can be sustained. Intel's report, like that of Alcoa Inc on Monday, helped underpin a bullish outlook.
The market had priced in a worst-case scenario for earnings, but these results are serving as positive drivers, said Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co in New York. They're creating an upbeat market.
Yum Brands Inc , however, which operates fast food chains KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, late Tuesday gave a full-year profit outlook that was lower than analysts' forecast. Its shares fell 3.3 percent premarket to $40.35.
S&P 500 futures rose 2.6 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 29 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 13 points.
Marriott International Inc is expected to report earnings on Wednesday, while economic data includes the Fed statement. Also due are figures for June retail sales, which are expected to have fallen for a second straight month.
It's possible that the Fed could cut its outlook for GDP growth, which would just confirm weakness in the private sector, said Dan Greenhaus, an analyst at Miller Tabak & Co in New York.
Greenhaus said he didn't think a negative statement from the Fed would be enough to offset the positive lift from earnings.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Nokia Siemens Networks is in talks to buy the telecom-equipment arm of Motorola Inc in a deal that could be worth $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion.
U.S. Senate Democrats on Tuesday appeared to nail down the votes needed to approve a historic overhaul of U.S. financial regulations and set up a final vote by the end of the week.
U.S.-listed shares of BP Plc edged 0.6 percent lower to $36.66 in premarket trading as it delayed a critical test that will determine if it can close a cap on its ruptured oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.
Europe's top share index <.FTEU3> fell 0.4 percent in morning trade, with banks losing ground.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)