(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher opening on the Wall Street as the Federal Reserve's meet gets underway amid hopes about further stimulus.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures rose 42 points to 13,335. The Nasdaq futures gained 14.25 points to 2,793.50. Standard and Poor's 500 futures added 5.40 points to 1,436.
Investors keenly await for announcement from the Fed's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC)'s two-day policy meeting that starts on Wednesday.
UBS analyst Maury Harris expects an announcement of another round of quantitative easing at the FOMC meeting on September 13. "We expect the easing will take the form of a six-month program of at least $500 billion, primarily focused on Treasuries," Harris wrote in a note.
In European news, Germany's high court on Wednesday approved the country's participation in the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) bailout fund with certain conditions, including a cap of 190 billion euros ($245 billion) on Germany's share of the ESM.
On the domestic economic front, a government data showed that import and export prices increased 0.7 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively, in August, while economists expected import and export prices to rise 1.5 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively. In July, import prices declined 0.7 percent while export prices rose 0.4 percent, respectively.
On Tuesday, U.S. stocks closed on a higher note amid hopes about further stimulus from the Federal Reserve and ahead of a key ruling by a German court.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: AAPL, STLD, TXN, CHK, TOO, XRTX, VNR, SNTS, RLH
In corporate news, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may be in focus as the technology behemoth is expected to unveil a new iPhone and smaller iPad. Shares added 0.80 percent in premarket.
Steel Dynamics Inc. (NASDAQ:STLD) may be active after the maker of steel products forecast lower earnings for the third quarter due to lower steel shipments.
Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ:TXN) edged lower in premarket after the semiconductor maker narrowed its third-quarter view.
Chesapeake Energy Corp. (NYSE:CHK) added 2.99 percent in premarket after the Oklahoma City-based natural gas and oil explorer agreed to sell most of its Permian, midstream and certain other assets for total net cash proceeds of roughly $6.9 billion.
Teekay Offshore Partners L.P. (NYSE:TOO) retreated 4.76 percent in premarket after the provider of marine transportation announced plans to offer 7 million common units.
Vanguard Natural Resources LLC (NYSE:VNR) declined 4.08 percent after the company priced its public offering of 6 million units at $27.51 apiece, a 4 percent discount to the stock's previous close.
Xyratex Ltd. (NASDAQ:XRTX) slumped 15.18 percent in premarket after the data storage company reduced its revenue forecast for the third quarter, below market expectations, citing lower demand and delayed product acceptance and revenue recognition for its products.
Santarus Inc. (NASDAQ:SNTS) jumped 6.41 percent in premarket after the biopharmaceutical company said its experimental traveler's diarrhea drug rifamycin SV MMX met its objective in a late-stage trial.
Red Lion Hotels Corp. (NYSE:RLH) has suspended its review of strategic alternatives after the hospitality and leisure company said did not receive any offers.
European markets traded mixed, with Germany's DAX up 0.52 percent to trade at 7,348.14. France's CAC40 added 0.40 percent to trade at 3,551.62. U.K.'s FTSE 100 shed 0.08 percent to trade at 5,787.63.
Asian markets rose, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index up 0.28 percent to finish at 2,126.55. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 1.73 percent to end at 8,959.96. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 1.10 percent to close at 20,075.39. India's BSE Sensex closed at 18,000.03, up 0.82 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures gained 0.25 percent to $97.41 per barrel. Gold futures advanced 0.62 percent to $1,745.6 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro rose 0.31 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2895 and the British pound inched up 0.09 percent to 1.6085. The dollar rose 0.15 percent against the Japanese yen to 77.8900.