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Traders prepare for volatility after China seesaws

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wednesday after a highly-volatile session for China's Shanghai Composite, with investors left largely unimpressed by the stimulus measures from the People's Bank of China.

Investors are finding it difficult to know which direction to turn, with global indices flipping wildly between gains and losses after brutal selling seen at the start of the week. China's benchmark Shanghai Composite finished down 1.3 percent after fluctuating throughout the day.

Read MoreTraders spooked after head fake rally, watching Fed speak

China's central bank fired a double-barrelled easing shot on Tuesday—lowering interest rates and the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 25 basis points and 50 basis points respectively—but this was not enough to reassure markets of slowing growth fears.

Investor confidence has waned amid continued concerns about the world's second largest economy. In the United States, stocks surged in a "head fake" rally Tuesday, sending the Dow 441 points higher, before gains were wiped out and the market traded sharply lower into the close.

In the last week-and-a-half, the S&P 500 has lost nearly $2 trillion in market capitalization, with $900 billion lost in this week's two trading sessions alone.

Read MoreRout latest: Europe shares sink; Shanghai seesaws

Wednesday's markets are expected to take their cue again from the action in China, but there will also be plenty of speculation about the Fed and when it might raise rates.

New York Fed President William Dudley speaks to the press on the regional economy before taking questions at a 10 a.m. EDT event. Dudley speaks ahead of the Jackson Hole Fed symposium at the end of the week, where Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer will address the group Saturday.

European stock markets traded over 2 percent lower in early deals on Wednesday after a rebound yesterday, giving traders little respite from this week's big market swings.

On the data front in the U.S., durable goods are reported Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. EDT, and they are expected to be up 0.1 percent, down from the 3.4 percent gain last month.

Major earnings include reports from Royal Bank of Canada, Brown-Forman, Abercrombie & Fitch, Chico's FAS before market open. Avago Technologies, Williams-Sonoma and Workday, are all due after the bell.