(REUTERS) -- Stock index futures rose on Wednesday with large-cap shares looking to pierce 52-week highs, but the major indexes were not seen making big moves before the end of the quarter.
Money managers dressed up their portfolios ahead of the quarter-end on Friday, buying some of the best performers and keeping those shares higher.
Further upside in the S&P 500 was seen as limited following gains of more than 12 percent so far this year. The benchmark index is on track for its best quarter since the third quarter of 2009.
A total of 175 stocks on the New York Stock Exchange hit new 52-week highs on Tuesday, including Dow components Home Depot Inc., Walt Disney Co. and International Business Machines Corp.
S&P 500 futures rose 3.8 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 added 50 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures put on 6.25 points.
Much of the market's recent gains have come after accommodative monetary policies from central banks around the world.
On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in an ABC News interview the Fed wasn't taking any options off the table, when asked about the potential for more quantitative easing.
February durable goods orders are due at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey were expecting a 3 percent rise in orders, compared with a 3.7 percent drop in January.
Paychex Inc. and Red Hat Inc. are due to report earnings later Wednesday.
Late Tuesday, both Sealy Corp. and PVH Corp. reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations.
Apple Inc. will offer buyers of its new iPad in Australia a refund after it was accused of misleading advertising. The stock hit a new all-time high of $616.28 and closed with a market capitalization of $572.92 billion.
Stocks retreated from near four-year highs on Tuesday, though gains in technology names limited the Nasdaq's decline.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)