NYSE Feb 2014 b
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Reuters

Investors will watch quarterly earnings announcements from companies such as Target, J.C. Penney and Lowe’s for direction while the corrective downswing of the previous session should also influence market movement.

On Wednesday, futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.18 percent while futures on the S&P 500 were up 0.22 percent and those on the Nasdaq were up 0.22 percent. On Tuesday, the Dow slipped 0.17 percent and the S&P 500 inched down 0.13 percent, a day after touching a record high, while the Nasdaq also fell 0.13 percent.

On the earnings front, retail majors such as Lowe's Companies Inc. (NYSE:LOW), the TJX Companies Inc. (NYSE:TJX) and Target Corp. (NYSE:TGT) are among those scheduled to declare earnings before markets open. After market hours, L Brands Inc. (NYSE:LB), J.C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP) and Autodesk Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) are expected to announce earnings.

On the data front, numbers on new home sales for January are due at 10 a.m. EST. Investors will also be waiting for Thursday’s lineup, which includes data on durable goods orders and jobless claims, followed by Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee.

In Europe, stocks continued to remain weak with the Stoxx Europe 600 index trading down 0.27 percent while the FTSE 100 was down 0.31 percent. Germany’s DAX-30 was down 0.08 percent and France's CAC-40 was down 0.26 percent.

In Asia, markets were up with the exception of Japan’s Nikkei-225, which fell 0.54 percent. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged up 0.06 percent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.54 percent while the Shanghai Composite was up 0.35 percent. South Korea’s Kospi was up 0.3 percent while India’s BSE Sensex rose 0.65 percent.