Futures gained Wednesday as investors shrugged off a disappointing start to earnings season after Alcoa missed forecasts and as Slovakia moved to reach a deal on expanding the EFSF rescue fund.
Slovakia's rejection of a plan to expand the euro zone rescue fundinitially dampened investors’ confidence, but the plan is still expected to be approved by the end of the week.
Parties in the Slovak government began talks with the opposition on Wednesday to reach an agreement on ratifying a plan to strengthen the EFSF rescue fund.
On the earnings front, Alcoa fell after the aluminum producer posted earnings that fell short of analyst expectations, even as revenue topped forecasts. Meanwhile, at least two brokerages cut their price target on the firm.
Meanwhile, PepsiCoposted higher earnings, thanks to robust international growth and the acquisition of a Russian beverage company.
Chevron is slated to report their interim results after-the-bell. The oil giant expects third-quarter earnings to be similar to the previous quarter. And JPMorgan and Google are among major companies scheduled to report Thursday.
Research In Motion declined after millions of Blackberry users in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and parts of South America are still experiencing problems receiving e-mail and using messaging and browsing services.
The setback adds to problems for the company, which is already struggling to compete with Apple .
Liz Claiborne skyrocketed more than 20 percent after the apparel maker said it plans to sell several brands to JCPenney and change the company's name.
Wal-Mart holds its annual analyst meeting and will be looking ahead to the holiday season, hoping for a big sales boost.
The Federal Reserve delayed the release of the minutes of its last FOMC meeting on Tuesday. The report is due at 2 pm New York time on Wednesday.
On the economic front, weekly mortgage applications climbed last week as demand grew for both purchases and refinancing even as interest rates rose, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
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On Tap This Week:
WEDNESDAY: 10-yr note auction, Fed's Plosser speaks, FOMC minutes, Fed's Pianalto speaks, Oracle shareholders mtg
THURSDAY: International trade, jobless claims, oil inventories, 30-yr bond auction, Fed's Kocherlakota speaks; Earnings from JPMorgan, Google
FRIDAY: Retail sales, import/export sales, consumer sentiment, business inventories, new iPhones available; Earnings from Mattel