CNNMoney parent Time Warner(TWX) posted better-than-expected earnings, sending shares 4% higher in premarket trading. The media conglomerate also announced it will raise its dividend by 11% to 28.75 cents a share.
Shares of Irish neuroscience biotech company Elan(ELN) rose nearly 4% after the company reported strong earnings and said it would pay $3.25 billion to end its collaboration with Biogen Indec(BIIB).
Expedia(EXPE) shares gained more than 1%, a day after the online travel site posted strong results, helped by higher hotel bookings.
Investors are starting to worry about the latest phone launch from BlackBerry(BBRY), formerly known as Research in Motion. News outlets reported short or nonexistent lines Tuesday at stores in the phone maker's home country of Canada.
Markets in Asia were led higher by the Nikkei, which surged 3.8% and closed at its highest level since 2008 on hopes that the yen will continue to weaken.
The rally was helped by news that Bank of Japan Governor Masaaki Shirakawa will step down from his post sooner than expected. The country's central bank has been under intense political pressure to engage in further monetary easing. Meanwhile, the Shanghai Composite added 0.1% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.5%.
European markets were mixed in morning trading on Wednesday. Steel giant ArcelorMittal (AMSYF)reported it was seeing "positive indicators," despite the fragility of the European economy and operating profit should rise in 2013.