S&P 500 stock index futures edged higher on Wednesday as traders looked to extend four days of gains that drove the S&P 500 to levels reached just before Lehman Brothers went bankrupt two years ago.

Despite technical indicators pointing to an overbought market after the S&P 500 climbed over 6 percent this month, interest from institutional investors could sustain a thinly traded market through the holiday period.

They're just trying to close out the year well, said Wayne Kaufman, chief market analyst at John Thomas Financial in New York. A lot of the bearish patterns or indicators over the last few weeks have failed, and a failed bearish setup is very bullish.

In premarket trading, materials and banking stocks, sectors that have helped lead the recent rally, were stronger. Bank of American Corp rose 0.6 percent to $13.06, while Alcoa Inc rose 0.6 percent to $14.98.

S&P 500 futures rose 0.3 point 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 fell 2 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures fell 2.75 points.

The S&P 500 is within striking distance of 1,255.08, a level seen before the Lehman collapse in September 2008 and an important psychological barrier for investors.

Resource-related stocks will be in focus as crude oil futures topped $90 a barrel after data showed a drop in U.S. oil and gasoline inventories amid a winter cold snap in the United States and Europe.

In corporate news, Nike Inc posted future orders that missed expectations Tuesday, sending shares of the world's largest athletic shoe and clothing maker down 5.4 percent to $87.30 premarket.

Walgreen Co posted higher profit on increased prescription sales and a slower pace of store openings that helped control costs, sending its shares up 7.8 percent to $39.70 premarket.

Geopolitics is a wild card. South Korea announced military exercises, including its largest-ever live-fire drill near North Korea just as tensions on the peninsula were beginning to ease after Pyongyang's attack on a southern island.

U.S. economic growth was a touch stronger than previously estimated in the third quarter, but consumer spending was softer.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)