Trade in U.S. stock futures pointed to a slightly higher open for Wall Street shares on Wednesday, as focus once again turned to rising yields in government bond markets.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury climbed to a new eight-month peak of around 2.47 percent in the European session, pulled higher as the German Bund yield pushed above the 1-percent psychological barrier.
In morning London trade, stock futures for the Dow Jones industrial average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all traded in positive territory.
There is no significant economic data due this session. Still, mortgage applications at 7 a.m. ET could show the impact of rising interest rates on the mortgage market. There is also the Census Bureau's Quarterly Services Survey for the first quarter at 10 a.m. ET.
Box, Krispy Kreme and Men's Wearhouse report earnings this session.
Jobs market boost
U.S. stocks closed narrowly mixed on Tuesday as investors weighed a rise in U.S. bond yields following further signs of improvement in the jobs market that could encourage the Federal Reserve to raise rates sooner rather than later.
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey on Tuesday showed 5.376 million job openings in April, the highest since December 2000.
A sharp selloff in bonds could raise concerns that higher borrowing costs could hurt corporate profits and the economic recovery.
At the same time, the rise in European bond yields has boosted the appeal of the euro and in turn weakened the dollar, which could be seen as welcome news to U.S. equity investors since a weaker dollar could give exporters a boost.
The euro rose to a three-week high at about $1.1387 on Wednesday, while the dollar fell to a two-week low against the yen after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said the real effective exchange rate showed the Japanese currency is "very weak".
Greece meanwhile was expected to stay in the spotlight as a deal between Greece and its international creditors to secure funds for reforms remained out of sight.
New proposals presented by Athens on Tuesday to secure more aid were seen as insufficient by the country's international creditors.
"Greek uncertainty is still very apparent in the markets and is likely to continue to weigh on investor sentiment," Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at currency trading firm OANDA, said in a note. "There are signs of occasional progress but there is very much a case of two steps forwards and one step back about this process."