Futures Gain After Jobs Reports, Ahead of Fed

Futures were higher Wednesday, following two days of sharp declines, following a pair of better-than-expected jobs news and ahead of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy statement.

Investors are focused on Federal Reserve's Chairman Ben Bernanke who will hold a media briefing following the two-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on interest rate policy at 2:15 pm ET.

The Federal Reserve is expected to take a breather from monetary stimulus measures on Wednesday, even if financial market turbulence heightens the chances of action later.

On the economic front, U.S. private-sector employers added 110,000 jobs in October, according to the ADP National Employment report. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a gaing of 101,000 jobs.

And the number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms dropped in October after hitting a more than 2-year high the month before, according to the Challenger, Gray & Christmas report, the lowest level in four months.

The employment reports come two days ahead of the key government non-farm payroll data, which is expected to show the economy created 95,000 jobs last month.

On the earnings front, Comcast gained after the parent company of NBCUniversal beat profit expectations, helped by its traditional cable business.

Rival Time Warner also posted a better-than-expected profit, helped by "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" in addition to stronger television advertising sales and cable fees.

MasterCard jumped after the credit-card provider topped earnings estimateson double-digit increases in volumes.

Meanwhile, Teva Pharmaceutical slipped after the drugmaker posted lower earnings although it still beat profit estimates as strong European sales helped offset a lack of launches in its U.S. generics drug business.

Kraft , Qualcomm and Transocean are among companies slated to post earnings after-the-bell tonight.

Wal-Mart Stores said it is offering an early preview of its Black Friday deals starting Wednesday and will also hold an early holiday sale beginning Saturday.

MF Global Holdings failed to protect customer accounts by keeping them separate from its own funds, said a top U.S. exchange regulator, another shock for commodity markets scrambling to contain fallout from the brokerage's bankruptcy.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold said on Tuesday that production and processing rates at its strike-hit Grasberg nine in Indonesia have fallen below levels needed to meet fourth-quarter sales targets.

Weekly mortgage applications rose last week, as demand for both purchases and refinancing gained, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

—Follow JeeYeon Park on Twitter: twitter.com/JeeYeonParkCNBC

On Tap This Week:

WEDNESDAY: Oil inventories, FOMC mtg announcement, Bernanke press conference; Earnings from Kraft, Qualcomm, Transocean, WholeFoods
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, productivity and costs, Fed's Lockhart speaks, factory orders, ISM non-mfg index, G20 Summit, chain-store sales, Groupon IPO prices; Earnings from Unilever, Kellogg, AIG, CBS
FRIDAY: Non-farm payroll report

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