US STOCKS-Futures rise after ECB says may speed up bond buying
* Futures up: Dow 45 pts, S&P 4.25 pts, Nasdaq 15.5 pts
By Sweta Singh
May 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Tuesday after the European central bank suggested it would speed up its bond-buying program.
* Investors are also awaiting key U.S. housing data that could feed into the Federal Reserve's decision on the timing of an interest rate increase.
* U.S. housing starts are expected to have risen to an annual pace of 1.02 million units in April from a 926,000 in March. The data is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).
* The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 ended at record highs on Monday.
* Dow component Apple's shares rose 0.43 percent to $130.75 in premarket trading, a day after investor Carl Icahn said the stock was "still dramatically undervalued".
* Wal-Mart fell 2.21 percent to $78.15 after the company reported lower-than-expected U.S. same-store sales growth.
* Home Depot shares rose slightly to $114.39 after the company reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit. Continuación...