Futures came off their highs Wednesday following a report that showed durable goods orders slipped slightly last month, but still held their gains as investors continued to stay encouraged over the euro zone's progress to ease the region's debt fears.
The "troika" of international lenders to Greece is scheduled to resume its mission to Athens on Thursday, according to a European Commission spokesman, adding that euro zone finance ministers will hold an additional meeting in October to further discuss Greek finances and aid to Athens.
On the economic front, durable goods orders slipped 0.1 percent in August amid weak demand for autos, according to the Commerce Department. Economists polled by Reuters had expected the figure to remain unchanged.
Jefferies raised its fourth-quarter estimates on Apple from $7.06 to $7.11, saying the firm's recent iPad cuts will be more than offset by the strength of the latest iPhone. The brokerage also upped its fiscal 2011 and 2012 earnings on the tech giant. Apple may unveil its latest iPhone next Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Amazon is slated to launch its tablet computer, hoping to compete with Apple's popular iPad.
Goldman Sachs cut its price target on a handful of banks including Bank of America , Citigroup , JPMorgan and KeyCorp .
Meanwhile, the brokerage raised its price target on PNC Financial , USBancorp and Wells Fargo .
Among earnings, Accenture gained after the tech outsourcing company posted stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings and forecast a robust 2012.