Futures pointed to a strong open Wednesday after better-than-expected profit from JPMorgan Chase added to the positive market sentiment.
Futures had already been higher in the wake of strong earnings results from Intel and CSX reported after the bell Tuesday, as well as raised expectations of further easing from the Federal Reserve. Intel gained nearly 1 percent in premarket trading while CSX rose 4.8 percent.
On Wednesday, JPMorgan Chaseposted third-quarter earnings of $1.01 a shareversus analyst estimates of $0.90 a share but revenue was slightly short of expectations. JPMorgan shares gained 1.2 percent in pre-market trading.
In economic news, import prices declined, and export prices rose,
U.S. mortgage applications for home refinancing loans rose for the first time in six weeks,although applications for new homes declined, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported Wednesday. The seasonally adjusted index of mortgage applications, including purchases and refinancings, rose 14.6 percent for the week ended Oct. 8.
European shares were higher across the board with technology stocks leading the gains.
The currency trade was again influencing the market's direction, as a decline in U.S. dollar against a basket of foreign currencies, sent stocks and commodities higher. Gold approached $1,360 an ounce, while crude oilpassed $83 a barrel.
Shares of Apple topped $300 for the first time in pre-market trading. Shares of the tech giant have been trending higher ahead of its earnings release next week.
Standard Chartered shares fell sharply after the bank announced a rights issue. Asian markets ended mostly in the green with India posting the strongest gains.
Also in earnings news, Chevron warned after-the-bell that its quarterly earnings could belower than those of its second quarter, sending its shares lower.
In mergers and acquisitions news, Lion's Gate Entertainment has proposed merging with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which is in bankruptcy. Carl Icahn, Lion's Gate's largest shareholder, approved the merger.
Minutes from the Fed's latest policy meeting revealed Tuesday that most of the rate-setting members appear ready to rollout the next round of quantitative easing in a bid to boost the economic recovery.
Details of the U.S. crude stockpiles will be released at 11 a.m. Thursday, because of the Columbus Day holiday, while results of the Treasury's $21 billion auction of 10-year notes will be out at 1 p.m.
Coming Up This Week:
WEDNESDAY: Richmond Fed Pres Lacker speaks; Earnings from JPMorgan
THURSDAY: International trade; PPI; weekly jobless claims; oil inventories; 30-year bond auction; Minnesota Fed Pres Kocherlakota speaks; OPEC meeting; Earnings from Google and AMD
FRIDAY: Atlanta Fed Pres Lockhart speaks; Bernanke speaks; CPI; retail sales; Empire State mfg survey; consumer sentiment; credit card default rates reported; Earnings from GE and Mattel
More From CNBC.com: