Stock index futures pointed to a higher open for equities Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 up 0.3 to 0.8 percent.

The Mortgage Bankers Association was set to release its Weekly Mortgage Market Index for the week ended August 26 at 1100 GMT (7 a.m. ET). The index read 699.1 and the refinancing index was 3,850.1 in the previous week.

At 1215 GMT (8:15 a.m. ET), Automatic Data Processing will release its August employment report. Economists expected 100,000 jobs were created in August, versus 114,000 created in July.

U.S. authorities have been investigating whether business software maker Oracle's deals in Africa violated federal anti-bribery laws, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Challenger, Gray & Christmas will release at 1130 GMT (7:30 a.m. ET) its report on job cuts for August. Challenger reported 66,414 layoffs in the prior month.

The Institute for Supply Management-New York will release at 1230 GMT (8:30 a.m. ET) its August index of regional business activity. In the previous month, the index read 538.8.

Bank of America is looking to sell its correspondent mortgage business and the unit's employees could be notified as soon as Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

At 1345 GMT (9:45 a.m. ET), the Institute of Supply Management Chicago releases August index of manufacturing activity. Economists forecast a reading of 53.5 in the month compared with 58.8 in July.

The Commerce Department releases July factory orders at 1400 GMT. Economists forecast a rise of 1.9 percent, compared with a 0.8 percent drop in the prior month.

Exxon Mobil and Rosneft signed an agreement to extract oil and gas from the Russian Arctic, in the most significant U.S.-Russian corporate deal since U.S. President Barack Obama began a push to improve ties.

The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares rose 1.1 percent, extending the previous session's steep gains, on hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve will act soon with stimulus measures to boost the struggling economy, and ahead of a raft of data.

U.S. stocks rose for a third straight day on Tuesday in a volatile session after the Fed minutes. The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 20.39 points, or 0.2 percent, at 11,559.64. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 2.80 points, or 0.2 percent, at 1,212.88. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 14.00 points, or 0.55 percent, at 2,576.11.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Dan Lalor)