Stock index futures edged higher on Wednesday, indicating indexes may bounce from declines a day earlier when the Dow suffered its biggest drop in four months, following data from China that eased concerns about sluggish global growth.
* The China HSBC Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) showed that growth shrank for a 12th straight month in October, but output was at a three-month high of 49.1 and order books at their most robust since April, signaling a strengthening recovery.
* The data offset some concerns triggered by the Markit's composite Purchasing Managers Index, which showed Germany's private sector shrank for a sixth month in October.
* Corporate profits will remain in focus after declines on Tuesday. There have been a ream of disappointments in the earnings reported so far, particularly in the results of large multinationals.
* Commercial jet and defense giant Boeing and the second-largest U.S. wireless carrier AT&T Inc are expected to report strong results. Other companies announcing earnings include Kimberly-Clark and Bristol-Myers Squibb .
* Dow Chemical Co , the largest chemical maker in the United States, said on Tuesday it plans to cut 5 percent of its workforce and shutter 20 plants as part of a restructuring program aimed at countering a slowing global economy. Its shares advanced 1.6 percent to $29 in premarket trade.
* With results in from 29 percent of S&P 500 <.SPX> companies, 37 percent have exceeded revenue forecasts, far below the 62 percent average, and just 57.2 percent of the S&P 500 names reporting so far have beaten earnings forecasts, according to Thomson Reuters data.
* The current reporting season has seen the lowest percentage of companies exceeding estimates since the fourth quarter of 2001.
* S&P 500 futures rose 4.2 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 added 17 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 2.5 points.
* European shares advanced on Wednesday, encouraged by Chinese data and bouncing back after a steep sell-off on Tuesday. <.EU>
* The China data helped trim declines in Asian shares, though investors remained wary due to weak corporate earnings worldwide and enduring worries over a global slowdown.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)