Stock index futures gained on Wednesday on comments from Federal Reserve officials that boosted hopes of more monetary stimulus and as investors awaited data for a better assessment on the economy, including the weak labor sector.
Wall Street stocks ended higher in the previous session after minutes released from the most recent Fed board meeting indicated several policymakers backed further monetary easing to support growth.
With the markets on the cusp of seeing very important economic data over the next three days, comments yesterday from Fed voting members (Charles) Evans and (Narayana) Kocherlakota have changed the dynamic in terms of what the market response will be. The question is how long it will last, said Peter Boockvar, equity strategist at Miller Tabak + Co in New York.
S&P 500 futures gained 9.4 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 73 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 20 points.
The S&P 500 is on track for its worst month since May 2010. After the United States credit rating was downgraded in early August, the index posted one of its worst weeks since the depths of the financial crisis in 2008.
At 8:15 a.m. EDT (1215 GMT), Automatic Data Processing will release its August employment report. Economists expected 100,000 jobs were created in August, versus 114,000 created in July.
The Institute for Supply Management-New York will release at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) its August index of regional business activity. In the previous month, the index read 538.8.
At 9:45 a.m. EDT (1345 GMT), the Institute of Supply Management-Chicago releases its August index of manufacturing activity. Economists forecast a reading of 53.5 in the month, compared with 58.8 in July.
The Commerce Department reports July factory orders at 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT). Economists forecast a rise of 1.9 percent, compared with a 0.8 percent drop in the prior month.
Bank of America Corp
The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top European shares rose 1.3 percent, extending the previous session's steep gains on hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve will soon add new stimulus to boost the economy.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)