U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher opening on Wall Street on Wednesday ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, with investors awaiting a slew of economic data.

At 1000 GMT (5 a.m. EST), futures for the S&P 500,the Dow Jones industrial average and the Nasdaq were up 0.4 to 0.5 percent.

At 1330 GMT (8:30 a.m. EST), the Commerce Department is scheduled to release personal income and consumption data for October. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a rise of 0.1 percent in income and a 0.5 percent increase in spending. In the previous month, income was unchanged and spending dipped by 0.5 percent.

The Commerce Department also releases October durable goods orders at 1330 GMT (8:30 a.m. EST), with economists in a Reuters survey expecting a 0.5 increase versus a 1.4 percent rise in September.

The Labor Department releases first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended November 21 at 1330 GMT (8:30 a.m. EST). Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 500,000 new filings compared with 505,000 in the prior week.

Tiffany & Co is due to report its third-quarter results, with analysts in a Reuters poll expecting the company to earn 23 cents a shares, down from 35 cents a year ago.

Deer & Co is scheduled to report fourth-quarter figures, with analysts expecting the company to earn 0.02 cents a share compared with 0.89 cents a year ago.

At 1455 GMT (10:55 a.m. EST), Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers releases its final November consumer sentiment index. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of 67.0 compared with 70.6 in the final October report.

The Commerce Department releases new home sales for October. Economists is a Reuters survey forecast a total of 410,000 annualized units in the month compared with 402,000 in September.

Calpers, the biggest U.S. public pension fund, is considering dumping asset manager BlackRock Inc as its real estate consultant, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

As much as $7 trillion of debt piled up by banks falls due by the end of 2012, which could force them to refinance their borrowings at a higher cost, the Wall Street Journal said, citing a Moody's Investors Service report.

Shares in Halliburton fell 2.2 percent to $29.80 in extended trading after the company said a reduction in activity in Mexico will impact earnings in the fourth quarter.

European shares rose on Wednesday, boosted by a revised U.S. growth forecast for 2010 by the Federal Reserve, with miners featuring among the top gainers.

By 1000 GMT (5 a.m. EST), the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top shares was up 0.7 percent at 1,023.93 points.

U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday on lackluster economic data in a session marked by low volume and choppy trading, but losses eased after the Federal Reserve raised its expectations for growth in 2010.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 0.2 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> inched down 0.05 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 0.3 percent.

(Reporting by Joanne Frearson; Editing by Greg Mahlich)