US Markets

Stock futures modestly higher after mixed economic reports


U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Wednesday, with the market offering a muted reaction to mixed economic reports.

The Dow posted a record finish on Tuesday and the Nasdaq rose above 4,000 points, following better-than-expected reports on the housing market.

Data out on Wednesday had durable goods falling 2 percent in October versus a gain of 4.1 percent in September and initial claims for jobless benefits falling by 10,000 to 316,000 last week.

Still to come, University of Michigan consumer sentiment and mortgage applications and the Conference Board's leading economic indicators.

The session will be quiet one for corporate reports however, with no major companies slated to report earnings before Wall Street opens.

In addition, the Treasury will auction $29 billion of 7-year sovereign notes on Wednesday, after a fairly strong 5-year auction on Tuesday.

European bourses traded higher on Wednesday, taking their cues from the strong finish on Wall Street overnight.

(Read more: Europe holds gains after data; Royal Mail shares rise)

China's Shanghai Composite also traded higher, despite rising tension over disputed territory in the East China Sea. The Pentagon confirmed on Tuesday that American aircraft had flown over disputed islands without informing Beijing, just a few days after Tokyo and Washington criticized China for establishing an air defense zone in the territory.

—By CNBC's Katy Barnato