Stock Market Today: Futures Rise as Investors Wait on Fed, Earnings

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- After one of the worst trading sessions of the year on Tuesday, U.S. stock futures were gaining momentum on Wednesday morning as traders awaited insight from the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting and for earnings season to kick off in earnest after the bell.

S&P 500 futures rose 0.25%, while Nasdaq futures added 0.2%. Futures for the Dow Industrial Average  , the index which has suffered losses in six of the seven past sessions, was 0.22% higher.

Watch the video below for a closer look at how U.S. futures are doing in premarket trading Wednesday:

Over Tuesday's session, major indices plummeted more than 1.5% after the International Monetary Fund trimmed its global growth forecasts, citing weakness in the eurozone. Europe has a one-in-three chance of falling back into recession on deflation concerns, said the IMF's most recent global outlook report.

While European markets tumbled on the growth worries, U.S. futures were indicating that Wall Street was favoring a wait-and-see approach to the events of the day stateside.

On the agenda are the Fed minutes from its Sept. 17 policy meeting which investors hope will give an indication as to when an interest rate hike could occur. New York Fed President William Dudley said in a speech Tuesday that an increase mid-2015 would be "reasonable," a sentiment shared by economists.

Aluminium giant Alcoa (AA) , the unofficial forerunner of earnings season, will report its third quarter earnings after the closing bell. Analysts expect profit of 23 cents a share on $5.85 billion in revenue.

"The set-up for the third-quarter earnings season is almost a carbon copy of what transpired over the second quarter," Robert Keiser, vice president of Global Markets Intelligence, said of expectations across the S&P 500 companies heading into earnings.

"Initially, we had just below 7% growth expectations in Q2 and it turned out the results were much healthier at 10.3%. Now we've got a similar set-up," Keiser said.

Costco (COST)  posted earnings of $1.58 a share, 6 cents higher than expected, after comparable-store sales, excluding fuel, rose 7% in the quarter. Shares were up 2.5% before the bell.

Following Hewlett-Packard's (HPQ) lead, security software company Symantec (SYMC) is considering splitting into two, one business for security systems and the other for data storage, according to Bloomberg. The stock is gaining 4.3% on the report.  

Yum! Brands  (YUM) reported a weak third quarter as a supplier scandal in China mid-year hurt sales at its KFC and Pizza Hut locations in the region. Profit of 87 cents a share missed by 2 cents and revenue slid 3.5% to $3.35 billion.

GT Advanced Technologies (GTAT) will have its first bankruptcy hearing in a New Hampshire court mid-morning. A judge will determine how much of a role customer Apple  (AAPL) played  in its Chapter 11 filing. Shares were up 32.2% premarket, though remain 89% lower for the week.

-- Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York. 

More from Markets

Market of the Week: E-mini S&P 500

Market of the Week: E-mini S&P 500

Bristol-Myers Slides After FDA Delays Marketing Approval for Cancer Therapy

Bristol-Myers Slides After FDA Delays Marketing Approval for Cancer Therapy

Dow Trades Lower After Momentum From China Rally Fades, Nasdaq Rises

Dow Trades Lower After Momentum From China Rally Fades, Nasdaq Rises

Goldman Women Find Bias in Pay as Corporate Old-Boy Clubs Endure

Goldman Women Find Bias in Pay as Corporate Old-Boy Clubs Endure

Can OPEC Still Influence the Price of Crude Oil?

Can OPEC Still Influence the Price of Crude Oil?