Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq 100 rise 0.1 to 0.4 percent, pointing to a firmer start on Wall Street on Wednesday.

At 7:00 a.m. EDT, the Mortgage Bankers Association is scheduled to release Weekly Mortgage Market Index for the week ended Aug 21, versus the prior week. The mortgage market index read 527.0 and the refinancing index was 1,982.5 in the previous week.

The Commerce Department releases at 8:30 a.m. July durable goods orders. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a rise of 3.0 percent in July versus a 2.2 percent decline in June.

Investors also await new home sales data for July, due at 10:00 a.m. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 390,000 annualized units compared with 384,000 in June.

Shares of Myriad Genetics Inc rose 8.2 percent late on Tuesday after it reported results.

U.S. Federal air-safety regulators are investigating how unauthorized parts were installed on at least 42 Southwest Airlines jets, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the details.

Crude oil inched up above $72 a barrel after sliding 3 percent from its highest since last October, hit by industry figures showing a hefty rise in U.S. crude stocks and overshadowing upbeat economic data.

German business sentiment rose for a fifth month running in August to its highest level since September 2008, the Munich-based Ifo think tank's business climate index showed.

U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as economic data and the renomination of Federal Reserve chief Ben Bernanke reassured investors and offset concerns about red ink in the federal budget.

The Conference Board's August index of consumer confidence topped forecasts, while the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index rose for a second consecutive month in June, suggesting a recovery in two sectors crucial to a rebound in U.S. economy.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> advanced 30.01 points, or 0.32 percent, to 9,539.29. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 2.43 points, or 0.24 percent, to 1,028.00. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 6.25 points, or 0.31 percent, to 2,024.23.

The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top shares was down 0.2 percent at 976.76 points after rising to 982.07 points earlier on Wednesday. The index which plunged 45 percent in 2008, is still up 17 percent this year and has surged 51 percent from a record low in March.

A federal judge ordered Bank of America to explain why it agreed to pay $33 million to settle a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit if it believed it properly disclosed bonuses it authorized for Merrill Lynch & Co employees. (Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Dan Lalor)