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In morning trading in Europe, Germany’s DAX was up 0.6 percent at 6,933.99 while France’s CAC-40 added 0.6 percent to 3,399.90. London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.3 percent to 5,734.35.

Wall Street appeared headed for gains, with Dow Jones industrial futures rising 0.3 percent to 13,023. The broader S&P 500 futures added 0.4 percent to 1,402.20. Asian indexes, however, closed mostly lower.

Bernanke will deliver his speech on Friday at a global gathering of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Hopes for further stimulus action took a blow this week when the Fed’s “Beige Book” survey of economic sentiment was fairly positive. Traders will look to Bernanke to clarify the Fed’s position.

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