U.S. stock index futuresheld gains Wednesday after the Bank of Japan eased monetary policy to boost an economy struggling with sluggish global demand.
On the economic front, housing starts rose 2.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 750,000 units in August, according to the Commerce Department. The report was slightly lighter than the 765,000-unit rate economists had expected.
Existing home sales data for August is due to be released at 10 a.m. New York time.
Weekly mortgage applications slipped last week, though refinancing demand rose as rates declined to a record low, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
The BoJ said it would step up bond buyingin an announcement that came a month earlier than expected. The news boosted stocks in Asia and Europe and comes hot on the heels of monetary stimulus plans announced by theFederal Reserveand the European Central Bank.
Goldman Sachs announced that senior trading executive Harvey Schwartz would take over as CFO. He replaces David Viniar, who will join the company's board as non-independent director.