European stocks were rising after Moody's retained Spain's investment grade credit rating. Asian shares finished with gains; Japan's Nikkei 225 average rose 1.2%.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes housing starts and building permits for September at 8:30 a.m. EDT.
U.S. stocks on Tuesday closed higher, buoyed by a batch of strong big-cap earnings reports and data showing a rebound in industrial production last month. The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up more than 127 points, or 0.95%, at 13,552.
President Obama came out fighting in the second presidential debate Tuesday night, clashing with his rival Mitt Romney over taxes, deficit-reducing measures, energy, pay equity for women and health care issues.
Bank of America is expected to issue its third-quarter earnings report before Wednesday's opening bell and analysts expect the bank to post a loss of 7 cents a share on revenue of $21.89 billion.
PepsiCo (PEP) is expected by analysts early Wednesday to post third-quarter earnings of $1.16 a share on revenue of $16.9 billion. After the closing bell, reports are expected from American Express (AXP) and eBay (EBAY)
The earnings calendar Wednesday also includes A.O. Smith (AOS), Abbott Laboratories (ABT), Bank of New York (BK), BlackRock (BLK), Check Point Software (CHKP), Comerica (CMA), First Cash Financial Services (FCFS), Halliburton (HAL), Knight Capital Group (KCG), M&T Bank (MTB), Piper Jaffray (PJC), Quest Diagnostics (DGX), St. Jude Medical (STJ), Textron (TXT) and U.S. Bancorp (USB).
Intel (INTC), the world's biggest semiconductor maker, topped lowered expectations in its third quarter but said Tuesday it continues to see weak demand across the globe.
ASML (ASML), the biggest supplier of equipment to semiconductor manufacturers, offered to buy Cymer (CYMI) for about $2.55 billion in cash and stock.
Visa (V)is preparing to name a new CEO as soon as this month to succeed Joseph Saunders, who is expected to retire from the company when his contract expires in March, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the process.
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