U.S. stock index futures were higher Wednesday after Germany's Constitutional Court supported the euro zone's bailout fund to help the region battle its ongoing debt crisis and ahead of possible stimulus action from the Federal Reserve.
Investors will be looking ahead to the Fed's two-day meeting on interest rate policy with the central bank's latest statement announced Thursday. The Dow rallied to its best level since December 2007 in the previous session amid growing expectations that the central bank will launch another round of quantitative easing on the heels of some recent weak economic data.
The German Constitutional Court approved the proposed permanent euro zone bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), but gave parliament veto powers over any future increases in the size of the fund. European shares ralliedfollowing the decision, while yields on Spanish and Italian debt fell.
In addition, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso gave his annual “state of the union” speech. Barroso called for a full fiscal unionand criticized European Union nations which do not fully support measures taken to combat the debt crisis.
On the economic front, import prices climbed 0.7 percent in Augustfor the first time in five months as the cost of imported oil jumped, according to the Labor Department. Analysts had expected an overall gain of 1.4 percent. Meanwhile, export prices gained 0.9 percent last month, against expectations for an increase of 0.4 percent.