LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a fractionally higher open on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 rising by 0.1 to 0.2 percent.
* The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to announce a fresh round of bond buying on Wednesday as part of its efforts to support a fragile economic recovery threatened by political wrangling over the government's budget.
* Negotiations to avert the "fiscal cliff" ahead of a year-end deadline intensified as President Barack Obama and U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner spoke by phone on Tuesday after exchanging new proposals.
* India's government announced an inquiry into lobbying practices by Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
* Costco Wholesale Corp
* Chesapeake Energy Corp
* Sprint Nextel Corp
* European shares steadied in early trade on Wednesday, keeping alive their sharp three-week rally as investors bet the Fed would deliver on stimulus.
* The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> closed up 78.56 points, or 0.60 percent, at 13,248.44 on Tuesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 9.29 points, or 0.65 percent, at 1,427.84 - its highest since November elections. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 35.34 points, or 1.18 percent, at 3,022.30.
(Reporting by Atul Prakash; editing by Patrick Graham)
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