Stock futures suggested an upbeat opening for U.S. markets, which ended 2013 in style but have since been buffeted by some corrective moves in the first few trading sessions of the new year.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.25 percent while futures on the S&P 500 were up 0.4 percent but those on the Nasdaq 100 were up 0.43 percent.

“The fact that the valuation of the US stock market is already high compared to its long-run averages on the cyclically-adjusted price/earnings (CAPE) measure is a good reason to be wary of forecasting further large gains in equity prices,” Capital Economics said in a note, but deemed it unlikely that the technicals pointed to a bubble in the markets.

On the data front, trade data is scheduled to be released at 8:30 a.m. EST. It is expected that the deficit will show an uptick in November, the Capital Economics note said, triggered by higher imports stemming from strong domestic demand.

Speeches from Federal Reserve officials -- Eric Rosengren and John Williams -- scheduled for 8:30 a.m. and 2:10 p.m. respectively, are also get investors' attention as markets look for further clues to the future of monetary policy.

In Europe, stocks were trading higher with the Stoxx Europe 600 index up 0.42 percent while the FTSE 100 was up 0.4 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 was up 0.53 percent while France's CAC-40 was up 0.44 percent.

In Asia, markets were mostly down with Japan’s Nikkei fell 0.59 percent while Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 ended down 0.15 percent. South Korea’s Kospi, on the other hand, was up 0.32 percent. The Shanghai Composite index was up 0.08 percent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index rose 0.13 percent. India’s BSE Sensex was down 0.45 percent.