Dow futures were pointing to about a 150 point gain at Wednesday's open, one day after the 30-stock benchmark broke a three-session losing streak. Nasdaq futures turned lower.
About 100 of those Dow futures points were being driven by a 12% premarket surge in Nike shares after the company reported late Tuesday an 82% jump in fiscal first-quarter online sales and a rebound in China. Nike also issued a rosier outlook, calling for demand to grow through the holidays.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq on Tuesday ended their runs of four straight down sessions. The Nasdaq's 1.7% surge was enough to lift the index out of a correction. September has been rough after record highs earlier in the month.
Shares of Amazon rose 5.7% on Tuesday, their biggest one-day rally since July 20, on an analyst upgrade and signals that Prime Day will start Oct. 13. Despite Tuesday's advance, Amazon was still down nearly 12% since its Sept. 2 all-time high. Amazon was slightly lower in the premarket.
Tesla shares were falling another 4% in the premarket after closing 5.6% lower Tuesday. CEO Elon Musk underwhelmed on Battery Day, saying Tesla's battery and manufacturing advances will lead a "very compelling $25,000 electric vehicle that's also fully autonomous" in about three years. Musk expects vehicle deliveries to increase by 30% to 40% this year after about 50% growth last year. Ahead of Battery Day, Musk downplayed the event in tweets late Monday.
Shares of Dow component Johnson & Johnson rose 2% in the premarket after the U.S. drugmaker announced Wednesday that it started its phase three trial of its potential coronavirus vaccine. J&J becomes the fourth company backed by the Trump administration's Covid-19 vaccine program, Operation Warp Speed, to enter late-stage testing. The other companies are Moderna, Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to soon announce more stringent standards for emergency authorization of a Covid-19 vaccine, lowering the chances that one might be cleared for use before the Nov. 3 election, according to The Washington Post. The agency is issuing the guidance to boost transparency and public trust.
Total U.S. coronavirus deaths topped 200,000 on Tuesday as global Covid-19 fatalities approached 1 million. Daily cases grew in more than half the U.S. states and Washington, D.C., according to weekly Johns Hopkins University data analyzed by CNBC.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday flies solo on Capitol Hill, appearing at a hearing of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. At Tuesday's House Financial Services Committee on Covid-19, the Fed chief and Treasury Steven Mnuchin were grilled over providing more money to help small businesses. Powell also reiterated to lawmakers that the U.S. economy could begin to decelerate in the months ahead without further fiscal stimulus from Congress. Mnuchin joins Powell again Thursday for a Senate Banking Committee hearing.
— Reuters contributed to this report. Follow all the developments on Wall Street in real-time with CNBC's live markets blog. Get the latest on the pandemic with our coronavirus blog.