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Nasdaq points to record open as earnings dominate

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wednesday, as investors brace themselves for another slew of corporate earnings reports.

Nasdaq futures rose 16 points, pointing the index towards a record open. S&P and Dow futures traded 1.75 points higher and flat, respectively

In earnings news, Morgan Stanley and M&T Bank were among the companies that reported before the bell. Both banks topped Wall Street expectations.

American Express, Qualcomm and T-Mobile US are some of the major names set to report after the close

Investors also digested economic data, with housing starts rising more than expected. Mortgage Applications rose 6.3 percent.

Meanwhile in the energy market, oil prices posted slight gains, however, any positive sentiment was capped on the back of an uptick in U.S. crude inventories, and glut concerns.

At 8:58 a.m. ET on Wednesday, U.S. crude was trading around $46.40, while Brent hovered around $48.90.

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News out of Washington D.C. is expected to keep investors on their toes, as Republicans continue to grapple with health-care difficulties.

The party's new drive to repeal Obamacare without implementing an immediate replacement has already shown signs of struggle, after three GOP senators announced that they wouldn't support the repeal without an instant replacement.

Initially, the U.S. president urged lawmakers to pass a repeal plan and then come up with an alternative later. After the plan stopped in its tracks on Tuesday, however, Donald Trump said "we'll just let Obamacare fail."

In Europe, bourses were mostly in the black during early trade, while Asia-Pacific markets finished trade on a positive note. In the previous session, U.S. equities ended mostly higher as investors digested more quarterly reports.

—CNBC's Jacob Pramuk contributed to this report

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