(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a modestly higher open on the Wall Street amid expectations the U.S. Federal Reserve may announce another round of quantitative easing to spur growth.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures added 16 points to 12,778. The Nasdaq Futures rose 7.75 points to 2,620.25. Standard and Poor's 500 futures edged 2.1 points higher to 1,352.7.
Investors keenly wait for statement from the Fed's monetary policy-setting committee meeting that concludes today. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to hold a news conference at 2:15 pm ET.
On Tuesday, U.S. stocks ended sharply higher amid increased hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve may announce further stimulus measures to spur economic growth.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: PG, ADBE, JBL, RIMM, ATU
In corporate news, Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG) dropped 2.43 percent in premarket after the consumer-products giant reduced its fourth-quarter earnings and sales guidance, blaming market-share softness in developed markets and unfavorable foreign exchange rates.
Adobe Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:ADBE) tumbled 5.72 percent in premarket after the San Jose, California-based software company guided third-quarter revenue below Wall Street view. The company expects adjusted earnings of $0.56 to $0.61 per share on revenue of $1.075 billion to $1.125 billion, while analysts' expects ADBE to earn $0.61 per share on revenue of $1.13 billion.
Jabil Circuit Inc. (NYSE:JBL) rose 5.30 percent in premarket following its third quarter results and guidance for the last three months of the year.
Actuant Corp. (NYSE:ATU) added 2.37 percent in premarket after the maker of hydraulic and mechanical devices posted a 18 percent rise in third quarter EPS earnings per share from continuing operations, excluding costs. Sales rose 9 percent.
Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ:RIMM) may be in watch list. The Wall Street Journal reported that the Blackberry maker has commenced laying off small groups of employees as part its restructuring move.
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (NASDAQ: BBBY), Micron Technology (NASDAQ: MU), Red Hat Inc. (NYSE: RHT) are due to release their quarterly results after the markets close.
European markets were mixed ahead of the decision from the U.S. central bank, with Germany's DAX gaining 0.24 percent to trade at 6,378.75. France's CAC40 edged 0.07 percent lower to trade at 3,115.86. U.K.'s FTSE 100 advanced 0.53 percent to trade at 5,616.18. The yield on Spain's 10-year government bond fell to 6.8 percent, below the 7 percent level at which Greece and Portugal were forced to seek bailouts.
Among Asian markets, the Shanghai Composite Index slipped 0.27 percent to end at 2,294.54. Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 0.53 percent to close at 19,518.85. Japan's Nikkei 225 jumped 1.11 percent to end at 8,752.31. India's BSE Sensex finished at 16,896.63, up 0.22 percent.
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures gained 0.30 percent to $84.28 per barrel. Gold futures dropped 0.66 percent to $1,612.5 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro traded 0.17 percent higher against the U.S. dollar at 1.2706, and the British pound rose 0.29 percent against the greenback at 1.5769. The dollar held steady against the Japanese yen at 78.9500.