Stock index futures pointed to a higher open for equities on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and Nasdaq 100 up 0.6-0.8 percent.
The Mortgage Bankers Association releases at 7 a.m. ET the Weekly Mortgage Market Index for the week ended December 2 versus the prior week. The mortgage market index read 576.4 and the refinancing index was 2,834.5 in the previous week.
India suspended plans to open its $450 billion supermarket sector to foreign groups such as Wal-Mart Stores
MidAmerican Energy Holdings, part of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway
U.S. department store chain J.C. Penney
China's annual rate of export growth slowed in November versus October, vice commerce minister Chong Quan told reporters after an official media briefing. Export growth in November was even slower than October, Chong said on the sidelines of a news conference releasing a government report on China's long-term trade development.
European stocks <.FTEU3> were up 0.8 percent after hitting a five-week high, resuming a 1-1/2 week rally on hopes euro zone leaders will agree a decisive plan to resolve the region's debt crisis at a summit later this week. <.EU>
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, on a whistle-stop tour of Europe to demand dramatic action, voiced confidence in a Franco-German plan to overhaul the EU treaty after Standard & Poor's said it could cut credit ratings across the currency bloc, including the EFSF rescue fund, a move which would fundamentally weaken it.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will propose to Friday's summit a plan to impose mandatory penalties on euro zone states exceeding deficit targets, aiming to restore market confidence and prevent the region's debt crisis spiraling out of control.
Detail of treaty reform proposals was due to be presented on Wednesday in a letter to European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, who will chair the meeting of 27 EU leaders.
S&P cut credit ratings on Tuesday for several regional banks in North America, including US Bancorp
U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as investors bet European leaders would take strong steps this week to end the region's debt crisis, including bolstering its financial rescue fund.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 52.30 points, or 0.4 percent, to 12,150.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX><.INX> added 1.39 points, or 0.1 percent, to 1,258.47. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 6.20 points, or 0.2 percent, to 2,649.56.
(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Dan Lalor)