U.S. stock index futures pointed to a nearly 1 percent rise at the open on Wednesday after data from China showed the world's third-largest economy was on track for faster growth, while comments from several Federal Reserve officials underscored a belief that low interest rates will remain intact.
Chinese factory output growth surged to a 19-month high in October, signaling that it has firmly put the worst of the global economic crisis behind it. For details, see
Top Fed officials said in a string of speeches on Tuesday that high unemployment and reluctant consumers would likely make a U.S. economic recovery weak and erratic.
The news out of China has raised the upbeat mood on global economic recovery, and comments from the Fed members are making continuous opportunities for investors to take risks, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York.
S&P 500 futures gained 8.1 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 68 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 15.50 points.
Japan's core machinery orders, a highly volatile series regarded as an indicator of capital spending, also jumped 10.5 percent in September, marking the second straight month of gains.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Wednesday he deeply believes the United States needs to maintain a strong dollar and said the United States was determined to reduce its budget deficit. But the dollar extended its recent decline to a 15-month low against major currencies in early trading.
Computer Sciences Corp
Unhappy over constraints imposed by U.S. government overseers, American International Group Inc's
Toll Brothers Inc
United Parcel Service Inc
Wednesday's session was expected to be quiet because of the Veterans Day holiday. The U.S. bond market and government offices will remain closed, while other markets will trade normally.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)