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Wall Street to eye more housing data, Q4 earnings

U.S. stock index futures pushed higher on Wednesday ahead of more housing data and several fourth-quarter earnings updates.

Investors will be looking ahead to the January reading on new home sales, due at 10:00 am ET, which is expected to have dropped slightly from the prior month.

"The data focus remains on the housing market with January's new home sales figures due. The expectation is for a further drop of about 3 percent month-on-month, following a decline of 7 percent in December, with the full extent of inclement weather in driving the fall unclear," said Daiwa Capital Markets' Chris Scicluna in a morning research note.

Among earnings, Target gained after the retailer edged past Wall Street expectations. The company said the December data breach shaved two cents a share off its earnings and impacted sales as well, though CEO Gregg Steinhafel said sales trends have improved in recent weeks.

Lowe's jumped after the home improvement retailer reported strong revenue growth, closing its sales gap with rival Home Depot. On Tuesday, Home Depot posted a 3-percent decline in overall sales.

Baidu, Autodesk, L Brands and JCPenney are among companies slated to post earnings after the closing bell.

In addition, crude oil inventories for last week will be published at 10:30 a.m.

(Read more: Crude prices could do an about-face, and soon)

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve's Eric Rosengren will speak in Boston on the economy at 12 p.m.

Shares in Europe and Asia traded lower early on Wednesday, with investor sentiment curbed by concerns about China's overheated property market and tightening by its central bank.

(Track: European stocks live)

"The market has priced in imminent financial crisis in China, with current valuations reflecting a big equity risk premium," Fan Cheuk Wan, CIO of Asia Pacific at Credit Suisse Private Banking, told CNBC.

On Tuesday, major averages wavered between small gains and losses throughout the session, ultimately ending in the red after the S&P failed to break above Monday's record. The index is less than 1 percent below its all-time high.

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