(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a modestly higher opening on the Wall Street as investors weighed a mixed data of orders for durable goods and awaited a report on home sales.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures rose 18 points to 13,877. The Nasdaq futures added 4 points to 2,711.75. Standard and Poor's 500 futures gained 1.80 points to 1,494.
On the domestic data front, durable-goods orders for January fell 5.2 percent, sharper than economists expectations of an drop of 4.4 percent. New orders - excluding transportation - rose 1.9 percent, while expectations were for a 0.2 percent rise. Durable-goods orders measures the change in the total value of new orders for long lasting manufactured goods.
Another report may show pending home sales rose 1.5 percent last month after a 4.3 percent decline in December.
On Tuesday, U.S. stocks ended in green as investors weighed a set of better-than-expected economic data and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's two-day testimony in Washington.
Bernanke's testimony before the House Financial Services Committee is due to begin at 10 am ET on Wednesday.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: TGT, PCLN, DLTR, WFT, FSLR, DWA, ATRS
In corporate news, Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) lost 1.65 percent in premarket after the discount chain posted lower quarterly profit as higher costs and expenses offset sales growth. The company, though, issued earnings guidance above market expectations.
Priceline.com Inc. (NASDAQ: PCLN) gained 4.24 percent in premarket after the provider of online travel services reported an increase in quarterly earnings on a 33 percent growth in gross travel bookings as well as strong hotel bookings. Earnings exceeded market expectations.
Dollar Tree Inc. (NASDAQ: DLTR) rose 4.31 percent in premarket after the operator of discount variety stores reported better-than-forecast fourth-quarter results, driven by comparable store sales growth and improvement in margins. However, the retailer issued full-year guidance that came in below Street estimates.
Weatherford International Ltd. (NYSE: WFT) declined 4.11 percent in premarket the provider of drilling equipments reported a loss for the fourth quarter.
First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) plunged 14.25 percent in premarket after the maker of solar modules forecast first-quarter revenue that trailed market expectations.
Dreamworks Animation Skg Inc. (NASDAQ: DWA) fell 2.71 percent in premarket after the Glendale, California-based producer of animated films posted a loss for the fourth quarter due to write-downs and charges.
Antares Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ: ATRS) gained 5.93 percent in premarket after the company said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted its new drug application for OTREXUP.
European markets traded in green, with Germany's DAX up 0.38 percent to trade at 7,626.63. France's CAC40 advanced 0.91 percent to trade at 3,653.99. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.36 percent to trade at 6,292.78.
Among Asian markets, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 0.87 percent to end at $2,313.22. Japan's Nikkei 225 lost 1.27 percent to end at 11,253.97. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.25 percent to close at 22,577.01. India's Sensex closed at 19,152.41, up 0.72 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures traded 0.09 percent higher at $92.72 per barrel. Gold futures retreated 0.61 percent to $1,605.60 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro rose 0.28 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3097, and the British pound added 0.22 percent to 1.5158. The dollar dropped 0.37 percent against the Japanese yen at 91.6400.