NEW YORK -
Stocks were poised to open higher Wednesday after a top German court said it supported the euro zone's new 700-billion-euro bailout fund to help the region battle its debt crisis.
The German Constitutional Court allowed Germany to ratify the new rescue fund and budget, but gave parliament veto powers over future increases in the size of the fund.
"You are seeing the market just confirming what their expectation already was - we have the expectation for some liquidity - by the Fed, by the ECB, and Mario Draghi has been aggressive in his statements," said Leo Kelly, managing director at HighTower Advisors in Sparks, Maryland.
"This was one of those cases where a bad decision could significantly disappoint the market, but a good decision just is in line with expectations."
S&P 500 futures rose 5.7 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 38 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 16.25 points.
The S&P 500 index has advanced more than 9 percent since the start of June on hopes for global central bank stimulus. But the index has been unable to significantly pierce the 1,438-1,440 level, seen by many analysts as a significant resistance point.
European stocks touched a 14-month high and yields on Spanish and Italian debt fell after the decision. The FTSEurofirst 300 index <.FTEU3> of top European shares gained 0.1 percent. <.
The decline in Spanish bond yields to well below 6 percent prompted Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to say improved market conditions may make aid unnecessary.
The Federal Open Market Committee begins a two-day meeting on Wednesday. The central bank looks set to launch a third round of bond purchases this week to lower borrowing costs and breathe more life into an economy that is not growing fast enough to reduce unemployment.
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U.S. import prices rose 0.7 percent in August - the first advance in five months - lifted by the cost of imported oil, a factor that could weigh on American consumers and temporarily boost inflation.
Brent crude prices rose in the wake of the German decision, expectations for Fed policy easing, and rising geopolitical risk after militants killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya.
Later in the session at 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT), investors will eye wholesale inventories for July. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast inventories to rise 0.2 percent, against a drop of 0.2 percent in June.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)