U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher opening on Wall Street on Wednesday, after investors booked profits on Tuesday amid questions whether the U.S. government's plan to clean up bank balance sheets would work.

At 1029 GMT (6:29 a.m. EDT), futures for the S&P 500 were up 0.4 percent, Dow Jones futures were 0.4 percent higher and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.5 percent.

In economic news, new orders for U.S. made durable goods are likely to fall in February aided by a sharp decline in civilian aircraft orders. The median forecast in a Reuters poll of 73 economists showed orders dropped for the seventh straight month, to 2 percent after a 4.5 percent January fall.

Newell Rubbermaid plans to slash its dividend in half for the second time in two months as it tries to maintain an investment-grade rating while taking steps to repay debt company due later this year.

Blockbuster Inc plans to let TiVo Inc subscribers download movies to their home televisions from its online movie library, in the latest deal aimed at broadening the brand to computers and other gadgets.

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services said on Wednesday that it revised its outlook on Berkshire Hathaway Inc (Berkshire), Berkshire Hathaway Finance Corp., and Berkshire's core insurance companies, including Berkshire Hathaway Assurance Corp., to negative from stable.

Congress's drive to recoup bonuses at American International Group is slowing significantly as passions on the issue cool, potentially removing a wedge that has threatened to derail the Obama administration's broader agenda, reported the Wall Street Journal.

The top two U.S. financial officials told lawmakers angry over bonus payments to AIG executives that the government needs authority to shut down troubled institutions like the giant insurer to avoid future bailouts.

On Tuesday, U.S. stocks fell, giving back some of the previous session's big gains, as investors paused to reassess what success the government's bank rescue plan will have, and as bonds got a late boost on government purchase plans.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> lost 1.5 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 2 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was 2.41 percent lower.

European stocks were lower on Wednesday following four days of gains with banking stocks the main fallers and miners down tracking weaker metal prices.

At 1027 GMT (6:27 a.m. EDT), the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares was down 0.3 percent at 738.86 points.

(Reporting by Joanne Frearson)