U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wednesday, following steep losses the previous session, but anxiety over the start of the earnings season dampened optimism.

* Alcoa Inc kicks off the second-quarter earnings season, and is expected to report its third consecutive quarterly loss after markets close. Slumping demand for aluminum has taken a toll, and investors will look for signs that capacity cuts will enable it to ride out the downturn.

* Google Inc plans a direct attack on Microsoft Corp's core business by taking on the software giant's globally dominant Windows operating system for personal computers. Google said Tuesday it will launch Google Chrome, a new operating system initially targeted at netbooks, in the second half of 2010.

* New York crude futures fell 0.6 percent and was headed to its sixth straight negative session.

* Leaders of the Group of Eight richest nations and the major developing powers are gathering for a three-day summit in Italy.

* S&P 500 futures rose 2.4 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 5 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 4.5 points.

* The Federal Reserve is due to issue May consumer credit figures at 3 p.m. EDT. Economists surveyed by Reuters forecast consumer credit falling $9.5 billion versus a $15.68 billion decrease in April.

* 3M Co shares rose 2.8 percent to $60.38 in extended trade on Tuesday after the diversified manufacturer said it settled a shareholder derivative lawsuit.

* U.S. stocks fell to their lowest level in 10 weeks on Tuesday as talk of a second government stimulus plan heightened fears that the economy was not yet on the path to recovery and corporate earnings for the second quarter would be weak.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)