- U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Wednesday, as markets eyed the release of U.S. durable goods orders later in the day and as speculation over stimulus measures in the euro zone and China supported equity markets.

Ahead of the open, the Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.32% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.31% rise, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.38% increase.

Equities strengthened on Tuesday after European Central Bank governing council member and Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann said that a negative deposit rate could be an appropriate way to address the impact of strong gains in the euro.

He also said it was not out of the question for the ECB to buy loans or other assets from banks to fight deflation, indicating a softening of the Bundesbank’s stance on quantitative easing.

Separately, traders were hoping China will announce stimulus measures after a report on Monday showed that Chinese manufacturing activity deteriorated for a third successive month in March.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) was expected to be active, after the social media giant said it is buying Oculus VR Inc., which makes a ski-goggles-like device called Rift that people can wear to play games. Facebook shares jumped 0.92% in pre-market trade.

Twenty-First Century Fox (FOX.O) was also likely to be in focus after it announced that it had appointed Lachlan Murdoch as non-executive co-chairman and promoted James Murdoch to co-chief operating officer.

In the auto sector, plaintiffs in a lawsuit against General Motors (NYSE:GM), down 1.48% in early trading, reportedly asked a federal judge in Texas to force the company to send a "Park it Now" warning to car owners not to drive recalled models until faulty ignitions are fixed.

Elsewhere, King Digital Entertainment, the maker of the "Candy Crush" game, was set to debtu on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 jumped 1%, France’s CAC 40 climbed 0.85%, Germany''s DAX rallied 1.14%, while Britain''s FTSE 100 advanced 0.53%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong''s Hang Seng gained 0.72%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.37%.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release data on durable goods orders.

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