Stocks were set for a higher open on Wednesday, putting the S&P 500 on track for its sixth day of gains in the past seven on optimism Slovakia would reach a deal to expand the euro zone rescue fund.

Parties in the outgoing Slovak government began talks with the opposition to reach a deal on ratifying a plan to strengthen the euro zone's rescue fund. Slovakia is the last country in the 17-member currency zone left to approve the plan.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel weighed in, saying she expected full ratification by the European Union summit on October 23.

It's like no bad news, we get to go up as long as you don't see any horror stories, said Frank Lesh, a futures analyst and broker at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago. At the moment it appears as if Europe has at least contained the crisis.

S&P 500 futures rose 11.8 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures climbed 105 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 26 points.

Alcoa Inc shares fell 2.7 percent to $10.02 in premarket trade a day after the largest U.S. aluminum producer said third-quarter profit was lower than the second quarter and fell short of already-reduced expectations due to a slump in global metals prices.

PepsiCo Inc
rose 1.4 percent to $61.80 premarket after the soft drink and snacks maker reported slightly better-than-expected earnings, helped by international growth and the acquisition of a Russian beverage company, and affirmed its full-year target.

Investors will also keep an eye on the Federal Open Market Committee's minutes from its September 20-21 meeting, to be released at 2 p.m. EDT.

Liz Claiborne Inc surged 22.6 percent to $6.25 after the apparel company said it plans to sell several brands, including its namesake line, and change the company's name.

Research In Motion Ltd's U.S.-listed shares fell 1.2 percent to $24.13 after the BlackBerry maker said its service outage has spread to North and South America. Millions of customers across four continents were already without email, messaging and browsing service.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)