U.S. stock index futures were higher Wednesday, as Wall Street gears up to reopen after Hurricane Sandy caused its first two-day weather-related market closure since 1888.
Investors forecast heightened volatility when markets reopen on Wednesday, the final trading day of the month, due to pent-up demand from the two-day closure.
Estimates of the cost of Sandy to the U.S. economy vary between $10 billion and $50 billion. Nearly 50 deaths have been reported so far, according to the Associated Press, and millions of homes are still left without power. (Read More: Storm Recovery Could Take Weeks as Millions Struggle)
"It should be a wild session. It will be interesting to see what the volume is like but I expect significant volatility," Michael Yoshikami, founder & chief executive of Destination Wealth Management, told CNBC Europe's "Squawk Box".
"Fortunately we have earnings postponed by a number of companies until Thursday or Friday."
On the earnings front, General Motors rallied after the automaker posted better-than-expected earnings and said it was targeting a return to breakeven levels in its money-losing European operations by mid-decade.
Meanwhile, a batch of companies scheduled to report throughout the week have delayed their earnings reports due to the hurricane. Among companies that were scheduled to post earnings today, Ralph Lauren will now report on Thursday, McGraw-Hill will now post on Friday, while Time Warner Cable will now report next Monday.
(Read More: Companies Delay Earnings Reports)
On the macroeconomic side, investors will look ahead to the Labor Department's monthly jobs report, due on Friday.
The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) of manufacturing activity for October is due at 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday. Analysts polled by Briefing.com expect the index to rise from 49.7 to 50.9. PMI readings above 50 signal expansion in activity.