Volume is expected to be light ahead of the Thanksgiving Day holiday on Thursday. Markets will be closed for Thursday and will be open on Friday until 1pm ET.
On the economic front, weekly jobless claims fell by 41,000 to 410,000, according to the Labor Department, matching expectations from Reuters, but the report was still distorted by Hurricane Sandy. The four-week moving average rose 9,500 to 396,250.
Meanwhile, U.S. manufacturing grew at its fastest pace in five months in November, according to financial information firm Markit's U.S. "flash" manufacturing PMI. The index rose to 52.4. A reading above 50 indicates expansion.
European shares turned higher after Reuters reported that Merkel had told lawmakers at a closed-door meeting that lower interest rates and an expanded European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) could fill Greece's financing gap.
Earlier, euro zone finance ministers were unable to settle a deal on Greece's debt.
"The dollar is broadly firmer after euro zone finance ministers were unable to come up with a decision on Greece aid," according to a note from Brown Brothers Harriman. "The uncertainty will likely stretch on until a hastily called follow-up meeting November 26, but limited market reaction suggests an eventual deal remains largely priced in despite ongoing delays."
Stocks finished largely unchanged in the previous session after comments by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's negative comments on the looming "fiscal cliff" added to worries.
Among earnings, Deere edged lower after the equipment maker missed earnings expectations, though revenue exceeded consensus. Deere said it is seeing continued strength in demand for large equipment, but did note caution surrounding its U.S. livestock and dairy markets.
Scholastic plunged more than 20 percent after the children's book publisher cut its guidance for the fiscal year amid lower sales in its high-margin educational business.
Hewlett-Packard edged higher after plunging nearly 12 percent in the previous session following an $8.8 billion writedown related to its purchase of Autonomy last year. Still, at least three brokerages lowered their price target on the company, while another two cut their rating. (Read More: In Hewlett's Loss, a Folly Unfolds by the Numbers)
Also on the economic front, the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment survey for November is due out at 9.55 a.m. ET. Analysts polled by Reuters expect the index to come in at 84.5, down from 84.9 in October.
And the Conference Board releases its leading economic indicators index for October at 10 a.m. ET. Economists polled by Reuters forecast a 0.2 percent rise, compared with a 0.6 percent rise in September.
Crude oil inventories for last week will be released by the Energy Department at 10:30 a.m. ET. Inventories rose by 1.09 million in the prior week.
Weekly mortgage applications eased last week as interest rates ticked higher, though demand for new loans improved, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
Coming Up This Week:
WEDNESDAY: Consumer sentiment, leading indicators, oil inventories
THURSDAY: Happy Thanksgiving! - Markets closed
FRIDAY: Black Friday - NYSE closes at 1pm ET / CME closes at 1:15pm ET
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