Stock futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Wednesday, the last day of the third quarter, with investors awaiting GDP and employment data.
At 4:46 a.m. EDT, futures for the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq were up between 0.1 and 0.5 percent.
The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.5 percent at 1,007.17 points, near its highest in almost a year. Miners rose as metal prices gained.
The International Monetary Fund lowered its estimate for global writedowns for banks and other financial institutions to $3.4 trillion but warned that loan losses were set to rise as unemployment grew.
The ADP National Employment Report, due at 8:15 a.m. EDT, is expected to show that private employers cut far fewer jobs in September than in August. Analysts expect a loss of 210,000 jobs, down from the 298,000 shed in August, according to Reuters polling.
Also due out on Wednesday, at 8:30 a.m. EDT, is the final estimate for second-quarter GDP, which is likely to show that the U.S. economy contracted at an annualized rate of 1.2 percent over the period.
Pay czar Ken Feinberg speaks in Chicago at 1 p.m. EDT. Wall Street will be looking for more detail on how the government plans to limit excesses in bankers' pay, a hot topic at last week's G20 summit. Last week, Feinberg said he was using formulas and data analysis to determine executive compensation rather than relying on pay caps.
A congressional hearing at 2 p.m. EDT will look at the effectiveness and practices of credit rating agencies.
The Securities and Exchange Commission finishes a two-day public meting on short selling, borrowing of shares and whether more disclosure is needed.
There are no major U.S. companies due to report.
U.S. stocks fell on Tuesday as a surprise drop in a gauge of consumer confidence overshadowed signs of stabilization in housing and solid earnings from Walgreen Co
After the close, sportswear giant Nike Inc
The S&P 500 <.SPX> up 15.4 percent so far this quarter, is making a run for its best quarterly performance since the fourth quarter of 1998. The benchmark index has rallied nearly 60 percent from the 12-year low of early March as investors bet on the recovery and prospects for a rebound in corporate profits.
(Reporting by Brian Gorman; Editing by Hans Peters)