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U.S. equity futures climbed on Wednesday after aluminum heavyweight Alcoa posted upbeat earnings and traders awaited minutes from the Fed's last meeting.

Today's Markets

As of 7:55 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 38 points, or 0.23%, to 16218, S&P 500 futures advanced 3 points, or 0.15%, to 1848 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 10 points, or 0.28%, to 3538.

Wall Street posted its first gains in four days on Tuesday as traders cautiously scooped up some beaten down growth stocks. The encouraging sentiment persisted into Wednesday after Alcoa (AA), the aluminum giant, revealed adjusted earnings that topped expectations. Other earnings on tap this week including banking behemoths JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC). 

The economic calendar is fairly light early in the day. However, the Federal Reserve releases minutes from its meeting that ended on March 19 at 2 p.m. ET. These minutes could prove particularly interesting since the central bank ditched its quantitative guidance at that meeting. Janet Yellen also said the Fed could start hiking short-term interest rates from record lows as soon as six months after it completes its bond-purchasing program in a move that roiled markets.

"Unless the FOMC minutes today confirm that a rate hike will come earlier ... the onus will be back on U.S. data to start surprising on the upside to lift sagging [Treasury] yields and thereby the currently out-of-favour [U.S. dollar]," analysts at Societe Generale wrote in a note to clients.

Elsewhere, Goldman Sachs (GS) is said to be shuttering its dark pool, which lets certain investors trade shares off the major exchanges, according to a report by FOX Business's Charlie Gasparino. The No. 1 U.S. investment bank denied the report. Constellation Brands (STZ) saw its quarterly profits nearly double on solid beer sales.

U.S. crude oil futures climbed 15 points, or 0.15%, to $102.71 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline rose 0.31% to $2.99 a gallon. Gold fell $5.30, or 0.39%, to $1,304 a troy ounce.

 

Follow Adam Samson on Twitter @adamsamson.