Stock index futures rose on Wednesday as investors focused on strong earnings reports and as commodities and the euro gained, indicating more willingness to add to risky assets.

Earnings beats from Target Corp and Staples Inc shifted the focus away from Europe's debt crisis ahead of U.S. data on producer prices.

We've seen some household names put out better earnings numbers this morning, and that's extremely constructive, said Art Hogan, managing director of Lazard Capital Markets in New York.

S&P 500 futures rose 3.5 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 40 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 1.5 points.

The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of leading European shares shook off earlier losses to trade near break even, even as financial shares <.SX7P> fell after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy declared any thoughts of common euro bond issuance would have to wait.

There was a consensus agreement that we'd like to move closer to a euro bond, said Hogan. But falling short of that you've got a very strong signal from Germany that they're going to do whatever it takes, and that's bleeding into the strength of the euro and as that happens we see a commodities rally.

The euro rose 0.6 percent against the U.S. dollar, while U.S. crude futures advanced 1.8 percent. Gold held steady near a record high.

Weighing on Nasdaq futures, Dell Inc shares fell 7 percent to $14.70 in premarket trading a day after the computer company's quarterly revenues came in below estimates and it said current-quarter sales would be flat.

Inflation moves into the spotlight with the release of U.S. producer prices for July. Economists expect a rise of 0.1 percent after a 0.4 percent fall in June. Excluding food and energy, they are forecast up 0.2 percent after a 0.3 percent gain in June. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. EDT.

Target Corp posted higher quarterly profit early Wednesday as back-to-school sales perked up toward the end of the quarter. Its shares were up 5.9 percent to $52.30 premarket.

Staples Inc shares jumped more than 9 percent to $15.55 premarket after the office supply retailer raised its profit outlook and posted better-than-expected earnings.

U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday after three days of gains, partly on disappointment about the outcome of the Sarkozy-Merkel meeting.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)