Stocks were set for a slightly higher open on Wednesday on optimism that the latest attempt by Greece to reach a deal on reforms in exchange for a new bailout would be successful.
The recent delays stirred European Union officials to warn Greece that the euro zone could continue without the fiscally troubled nation, which needs a rescue package to avoid an unruly default.
They are pretty close on the debt talks, and it looks like the prime minister is getting the various members of his coalition in line (so) that they may actually get this done, said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
These folks have been at it for a very long time. They have been fighting with this issue for about eighteen months, so they really do see this as, 'We have to get it right this time.'
In Europe, shares hit a new six-month high with cyclical stocks extending a strong run as investors became more confident that economic growth would boost company earnings and overshadow Greece concerns. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.3 percent.
Yields on Spanish and Italian government bonds fell on the belief a Greek deal could be consummated.
S&P 500 futures were flat and slightly 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 gained 21 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 2.25 points.
Walt Disney Co's quarterly revenue fell short of expectations after a poor showing from the movies unit, but it said late Tuesday profit grew faster than expected as its TV networks and theme parks held strong despite the weak economy. Shares fell 0.6 percent to $40.75 in premarket trade.
Time Warner Inc gained 2.9 percent to $39.20 after reporting better-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by its cable networks and the last installment of its Harry Potter movie franchise.
Ingersoll-Rand Plc rose 0.7 percent to $37.83 premarket after quarterly results topped expectations, although sales fell.
McDonald's Corp added 0.4 percent to $101.34 after January sales rose more than expected at its established restaurants across the globe.
Visa Inc, due later Wednesday, is expected to come in with a profit of $1.45 per share, up from $1.23 a year ago, helped by a rise in consumer spending in the holiday season.
Other companies due to report include Cisco Systems Inc and News Corp.
Cisco is expected to post a stable quarter, lifted by improving U.S. enterprise demand a year after the network equipment maker issued a weak outlook.
Investors will also eye Groupon Inc, coming with its first results as a public company, to see if the largest daily deal website makes its first quarterly profit. Groupon is expected to report earnings of 3 cents per share on revenue of $475 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
According to Thomson Reuters data through Tuesday morning, of the 301 companies in the S&P 500 posting results, 60 percent topped expectations, tracking below recent quarters at this point of the reporting season.
Rambus Inc jumped 9.3 percent to $8.25 premarket after the company reached a patent license agreement with Nvidia Corp and the companies settled all outstanding claims. Nvidia shares rose 0.4 percent to $15.81.