U.S. stocks headed for a sharply higher open on Wednesday as Intel Corp's solid quarterly results and outlook reinforced hopes for an economic recovery and a rebound in technology spending.

Regional U.S. economic data underpinned the positive sentiment, with the New York Fed's Empire State index for July showing business conditions in the state at their strongest since April 2008.

Shares of Intel, a chip-maker and Dow component, rose more than 7 percent in pre-market trading as its results and outlook blew past Wall Street forecasts, helped by strong consumer demand for PCs, setting an auspicious tone for the technology sector.

Shares of AMD Micro Devices , Intel's main rival, gained 7.3 percent, and the Technology Select Sector SPDR gained more than 2 percent.

Wall Street's advance would extend a global equities rally after stocks rose in Asia overnight. In Europe, major indexes were up almost 2 percent.

The good news is that it appears the economy is turning a corner and big companies like Intel are giving good guidance, said Alan Gayle, senior investment strategist at Ridgeworth Investments in Richmond, Virginia.

That's encouraging, but the market needs to avoid concerns about inflation.

Government data also showed June U.S. consumer prices rose at a slightly faster-than-expected pace, with the bulk of the increase coming from a leap in gasoline prices, but the core measure of inflation remained relatively tame.

S&P 500 futures climbed 12.1 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 96 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 26.50 points.

An insight on how the Federal Reserve arrived at its recent assessment of the economy's outlook is expected from minutes from the latest Fed policy meeting, due at 2 p.m..

U.S. stocks rose on Tuesday as better-than-expected corporate profits overshadowed concerns about weak consumer demand.

(Additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)