Stock futures inched higher on Wednesday morning as crude oil rebounded from a major selloff a day earlier.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.02%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 0.06%, and Nasdaq futures rose 0.08%.
Crude oil prices rebounded Wednesday as the International Energy Forum remained in focus. Major oil producers have been discussing the current oil crisis in Algeria for the past three days and many had hoped Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries might agree to a production freeze. The likelihood of an agreement fell on Tuesday, leading to a 3% decline in oil prices.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil was up 1.6% early Wednesday to $45.39 a barrel. (Bob Byrne of Real Money, our premium site for active traders, checks out the latest charts for oil, natural gas, gold and the S&P 500 here.)
Durable goods orders came in flat in August, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, far better than an expected decline of 1.9%. Excluding transportation, U.S. orders fell 0.4%. Orders for long-lasting goods were revised lower in July, showing growth of 3.6% from 4.4%. August's flat reading pointed to continued weakness in the manufacturing space as a strong U.S. dollar and soft global demand still impede activity.
It's a busy day of Federal Reserve talk which could illuminate the central bank's near-term plans for interest rates. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will be the most closely watched when she gives testimony to the House Financial Services Committee on Wednesday morning. Yellen will discuss how the Fed supervises and regulates the financial system.
Also on Wednesday, Minnesota Fed President Neel Kashkari will participate in a Q&A, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans will deliver remarks at the Community Banking in the 21st Century conference, Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester will give a speech on the economic outlook, and Kansas City Fed President Esther George will make remarks at the Forum for Minority Bankers. Mester and George both recently voted for a rate hike, two of three dissenters at the September Federal Open Market Committee meeting.
"We expect hawkish tones from both of the dissenters, which are likely to keep the market focused on a fourth-quarter rate hike," BNP Paribas analysts wrote in a note. "It is likely that both Ms. Mester and Ms. George will highlight the economy's progress and discuss the risks of postponing a near-term gradual tightening of interest rates."
German officials have quickly denied a report that the government would help Deutsche Bank (DB) - Get Report in the case it cannot bankroll its recent litigation issues. Earlier reports indicated the bank would be allowed to sell its assets to other lenders at prices that would fund some of the charges and that the German government might even take a 25% stake in the company.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Justice Department levied a $14 billion fine at Deutsche Bank following an investigation into its residential mortgage-backed securities.
Separately, Deutsche Bank agreed to sell its Abbey Life insurance businesses in the U.K. to Phoenix Group for £935 million ($1.2 billion).
BlackBerry (BBRY) jumped 6% in premarket trading, setting up to open at its best level since the beginning of the year, following a better-than-expected quarter. Adjusted earnings were breakeven, better than an expected loss of 5 cents a share. The tech company expects full-year earnings of breakeven to a loss of 5 cents a share, far narrower than consensus of a loss of 16 cents a share. CEO John Chen said the company is "reaching an inflection point with our strategy."
Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report slipped after Wedbush downgraded its rating on the shares to underperform from neutral. Analysts said recent changes to mobile search have seen ad growth decelerate sharply.
Nike (NKE) - Get Report slid 2% after quarterly future orders fell short of analysts' estimates. The measure, an indicator of sales scheduled through to January, rose 5% and slowed from 8% growth in the previous quarter. Overall revenue rose 7.7% over Nike's August-ended quarter.
Wells Fargo (WFC) - Get Report moved slightly higher after cancelling a total of $60 million in stock awards to CEO John Stumpf and retiring consumer banking chief Carrie Tolstedt. The bank also said it would conduct an independent review into sales practices. Wells Fargo has been under scrutiny since the scandal broke that workers had created up to two million unauthorized customer accounts to meet sales targets. The bank has since agreed to a $185 million settlement with government officials over a sales fraud investigation.