Futures Point to Higher Start

U.S. stock futures edged higher on Wednesday, spurred by a strong rally in Japan’s Nikkei Index, which gained 3.77% on Wednesday over the news that Bank of Japan was likely to appoint a very dovish governor and some solid earnings from European heavy weights; however, in the U.S. investors might struggle to get direction due to a very light economic calendar.

At last check, futures on Dow Jones Industrial Average Index gained 0.30%; those on NASDAQ 100 added 0.12% while futures on S&P 500 Index inched up 0.03%.

On earnings front, Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX) and CVC Caremark Corp. (NYSE: CVS) are scheduled to report quarterly results ahead of the bell.

Shares of online social gaming provider Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) will be under spotlight on Wednesday. The Company following closing bell on Tuesday, reported lower-than-expected losses while revenue also edged past Street’s forecast thanks to across-the-board cost cutting measures such as slashing workforce and shuttering of non-performing titles. Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s analyst Justin Post also unexpectedly upwardly revised his price target for Zynga shares to $3.40 from $2.70 and lifted rating to “buy” from “underperform”, citing company’s growing traction in mobile gaming.

Shares of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) gained 3.70% in pre-market trading after the company reported 5% revenue-growth, late on Tuesday.

Elsewhere in Asia, mainly all leading benchmark indexes ended higher.

In Europe, equities were mixed, at last check. Sentiment is likely to remain subdued ahead of the European Central Bank’s policy rate statement, scheduled to be announced on Thursday. On earnings front, U.K. financial services firm Hargreaves and steel maker Arcelormittal handed better-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter results.

In some other markets, crude oil futures fell 0.77% to $95.90 a barrel while gold futures for February delivery slipped 0.07% to $1,672.30 an ounce.



Ed Liston is a senior contributing editor at TheStockMarketWatch.com. An active market watcher and investor, Ed guides an independent team of experienced analysts and writes for multiple stock trader publications. He is widely quoted in various financial publications on the Internet. When Ed is not writing about stocks, investing in stocks, talking about stocks, or otherwise doing something stock related, he likes to go sailing and fishing in his yacht.