U.S. stock index futures pointed to a strong open on Wall Street on Wednesday following forecast-beating results from Intel Corp and ahead of earnings from JPMorgan Chase & Co.
At 4 a.m. EDT, futures for the S&P 500 were up 0.9 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.8 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 1.1 percent.
After the bell on Tuesday, Intel, the world's largest chipmaker, posted a quarterly outlook and results that were better than expected, sending its shares 7 percent higher in extended trading and boosting optimism over a tech sector recovery. Its Frankfurt shares were up 4.4 percent.
Investors' focus will also be on the banking sector on Wednesday, with JPMorgan due to report results, followed by Citigroup, Bank of America and Goldman Sachs later in the week.
Resource-related stocks will be in the spotlight as oil surged for a fifth day on Wednesday to a 2009 high above $75 a barrel, boosted by a weak dollar and surprisingly strong China trade data that underscored a recovery in the world's second-largest oil user.
The dollar tumbled to 14-month lows on Wednesday, hurt by persistent expectations for low U.S. interest rates as well as investor appetite for commodity currencies.
Japan's Nikkei average dipped 0.2 percent, hit by profit-taking after five days of gains and with exporters such as Canon Inc pressured by a stronger yen. European stocks were up 1.3 percent in morning trade, led by tech and commodity-related shares such as Nokia and Rio Tinto.
On the macro front, investors were bracing for U.S. monthly retail sales, due at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Later in the session, the focus will shift to the Federal Reserve's minutes from its meeting of September 22-23, to be released at 2 p.m. EDT.
CSX Corp, the No. 3 U.S. railroad, reported stronger than expected quarterly profit after the bell on Tuesday, helped by lower costs, and said it believed the worst of the recession is likely behind us, sending its shares up nearly 3 percent.
Conseco Inc shares jumped 17 percent in extended trade on Tuesday after the insurer agreed to sell common stock and warrants worth $77.9 million to hedge fund Paulson & Co in an effort to increase its capital position.
U.S. stocks retreated on Tuesday after disappointing sales from Johnson & Johnson rattled investors and raised worries about the strength of company earnings, snapping the S&P 500's six-day winning streak.
The Dow Jones industrial average declined 14.74 points, or 0.15 percent, to end at 9,871.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index slipped 3.00 points, or 0.28 percent, to 1,073.19. But the Nasdaq Composite Index inched up just 0.75 of a point, or 0.04 percent, to 2,139.89.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; editing by Simon Jessop)