U.S. stock-index futures maintained Wednesday gains even as data had builders starting work on fewer houses in March than analyst had expected, as investors considered a slew of bank, technology and pharmaceutical earnings.
Another report ahead of Wednesday's open had industrial production rising 0.7 percent in March versus a 0.5 percent estimate.
The Commerce Department reported home construction bounced back less than expected last month, with housing starts rising 2.8 percent to a 946,000 annualized rate after a 1.9 percent gain in February.
"Mitigating the miss is an upward revision to the prior month's data," said Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at BTIG LLC, referring to February's gain, revised from previously estimated 0.2 percent fall.
Bank of America posted a first-quarter loss as the No. 2 U.S. bank recorded $6 billion in litigation expenses related to a settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency and other mortgage-related matters.
Both Yahoo and Intel beat estimates when they reported quarterly earnings after the end of trade on Tuesday. Yahoo shares rose as much as 9 percent in after-hours trading and Intel shares also climbed.