Stocks seen higher; M&A, earnings eyed

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a stronger open on Wednesday, tracking shares in Europe and Asia higher.

Dow Jones futures were up about 100 points higher, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures also pointed to a higher open.

Continued gains in oil added support, with crude up more than 1.5 percent above $49 a barrel and brent trading above $52 a barrel.

In company news, brewer AB InBev was in focus after the group made a third bid of £42.15 per share for British rival SABMiller.

SABMiller said it rejected Anheuser-Busch InBev's raised bid, which would have given it a value of nearly £68 billion ($103.6 billion).

Stocks closed mixed Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average eking out its first three-day winning streak since Aug. 17. The S&P 500 closed 7 points lower at 1,979.92, ending five straight days of gains.

Monsanto and Constellation Brands were among the few firms reporting before the bell Wednesday. Alcoa reports after the close Thursday, unofficially kicking off earnings season.

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PepsiCo gave some investors hope of a positive earnings season with results that beat on both the top and bottom line. The firm also raised its full-year forecast. Yum Brands disappointed on the top and bottom lines, however, sending its shares sharply lower in premarket trading.

No Fed speakers are scheduled to speak Wednesday ahead of the FOMC meeting minutes out Thursday afternoon ET.

Weekly mortgage applications rose 25.5 percent amid anxiety over new mortgage regulations, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

The Treasury will hold a 10-year note auction at 1:00 p.m.