By Nick Godt
U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open Wednesday, lifted by hopes that a much-awaited summit of European leaders will present a convincing plan to handle the euro zone's debt crisis.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 57 points to 11,719 and those on the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index advanced 6.4 points to 1,231.
Nasdaq 100 futures gained 11 points to 2,332.70.
Stocks fell sharply on Tuesday, with the DJIA falling 1.7% and the S&P 500 losing 2%. U.S. data and earnings disappointed investors while markets remained shaky given uncertainty over the European Union's plans.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke to parliament in Berlin Wednesday ahead of a vote on boosting the firepower of the 440 billion euro ($612 billion) euro-zone rescue fund known as the European Financial Stability Facility.
The German parliament is expected to back Merkel in the vote and give her a mandate to negotiate a package of measures to tackle the debt crisis at a summit of euro-zone leaders in Brussels later Wednesday.
At the summit, leaders are expected to announce details on recapitalizing European banks, addressing Greece's debt burden and boosting the EFSF's firepower.
"There really isn't an expectation for a 'solution' versus a 'plan'," said Marc Pado, strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald, in a note. "A plan will provide the framework going forward."
In U.S. economic news, data on September durable-goods orders are out at 8:30 a.m. EDT. New-home-sales data for September are due at 10 a.m. EDT. Investors have grown hopeful for the housing market in recent days after a number of Federal Reserve officials said the central bank could do more to support it.
Highlights in U.S. earnings include results from Boeing Co. (BA), Ford Motor Co. (F) and Sprint Nextel Corp. (S).
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) shares fell 11% in preopen trading after the online retailer posted results that fell short of market estimates Tuesday after the close.
U.S.-listed shares of Nokia Corp. (NOK) climbed 2.1% in preopen trade after the firm unveiled inaugural devices that will run on Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) Windows Phone operating system.
-By Nick Godt; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com