Late Monday, ratings agency Standard & Poor's cut Italy's credit rating by one notch, citing the country's growing debt and weak growth outlook. Italy has the second-biggest debt burden among countries that use the euro, after Greece.
The Fed begins a two-day policy meeting Tuesday. Many investors hope the central bank will announce it is taking steps to stimulate the U.S. economy after the meeting ends.
Ninety minutes before the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 85 points, or 0.8 percent, at 11,408. Standard & Poor's 500 futures are up 10, or 0.8 percent, at 1,207. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 22, or 0.9 percent, at 2,323.