With Wednesday's earnings calendar packed with big names in banking, health care and technology, these companies' quarterly earnings statements should steer markets during the session while economic data should provide investors with some guidance.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.48 percent while futures on the S&P 500 were up 0.5 percent and those on the Nasdaq were up 0.57 percent. On Tuesday, the Dow rose 0.55 percent and the S&P 500 climbed 0.68 percent while the Nasdaq gained 0.29 percent.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (NYSE:PNC) and U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) are among the companies expected to report quarterly results before the markets open. American Express Co. (NYSE:AXP), Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF), Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) are expected to report after the closing bell.

On the data front, the housing starts report for March will be released at 8:30 a.m. EDT while data on industrial production for the month will be released at 9:15 a.m. U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen is expected to deliver a speech at 12:15 p.m. at the Economic Club of New York.

In Europe, markets were up with the Stoxx Europe 600 index rising 0.87 percent while the FTSE 100 was up 0.42 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 rose 1 percent while France's CAC-40 was up 1.04 percent.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei-225 climbed 3.01 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng edged up 0.11 percent and the Shanghai Composite was up 0.17 percent. South Korea’s Kospi ended the day flat, while India's BSE Sensex was trading down 0.54 percent.