U.S. stock index futures point to a higher opening Wednesday as investors were hopeful about stimulus measures being announced in the Federal Reserve meeting to declare policy action.
The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.27 percent, those on the Standard & Poor’s 500 index were up 0.16 percent, while those of the Nasdaq 100 index were up 0.29 percent.
Investors are likely to focus on the Federal Open Market Committee's (FOMC) decision on interest rates. The FOMC statement, the primary tool used by the panel to communicate with investors about its monetary policy, will be closely watched.
Hopes of additional stimulus measures at the FOMC meeting have intensified among market players. Investors are hoping that the debt crisis faced by the euro zone and the faltering U.S. economy will push the Fed to take these stimulus measures.
Investors are also likely to focus on the Institute of Supply Management's (ISM) Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) to be reported Wednesday. The ISM manufacturing index, which rates the relative level of business conditions including employment, production, new orders, prices, supplier deliveries and inventories, is expected to rise to 50.2 in July up from 49.7 in June.
Automatic Data Processing (ADP) will release its National Employment Report Wednesday. The report is a measure of the monthly change in non-farm, private employment based on the payroll data of approximately 400,000 U.S. business clients. It is expected to rise by 120,000 in July down from 176,000 in June.
On Tuesday, the U.S. markets fell as investors maintained a cautious mode ahead of the Fed meeting, which is expected to announce more stimulus measures to boost the economic growth. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.49 percent, the S&P 500 Index dropped 0.43 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.21 percent.
Major European indices rose amid continued hopes of stimulus measures from the European Central bank to revive the euro zone economic growth. London’s FTSE 100 was up 18.53 points, Germany's DAX 30 Index rose 12.03 points and France's CAC 40 climbed 16.84 points.
Asian stocks were mixed as hopes for monetary easing measures from the U.S. Fed was undermined by weak data from China, which showed that the country's manufacturing activity grew at a slower pace in July compared to that in the previous month. Data released Wednesday by the China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing showed that the Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) fell to 50.10 in July down from 50.2 in June.