U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wednesday after robust factory data from Asia and better-than-expected results from Nike encouraged investors as the quarter comes to a close.
Employment and gross domestic product (GDP) data will likely also set the tone before the market opens.
Strong manufacturing activity data out of China and Japan boosted global commodities markets, providing fresh evidence of an economic recovery. Oil prices rose 1.4 percent.
One of the drivers in the market rally has been on commodities, and these (China) numbers will give an uptick in the commodities prices across the board and eventually help our market too. China demand is always going to be a lead story in markets everywhere, said Arthur Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co in Boston.
The ADP National Employment Report, a precursor to the government's own jobs report due on Friday, is expected to show private employers cut 210,000 jobs in September, an improvement from 298,000 shed in August, according to a Reuters poll. The report is due at 8:15 a.m. EDT.
The final estimate for second-quarter GDP, is also due at 8:30 a.m. EDT, with analysts seeing the economy contracting at an annualized rate of 1.2 percent.
Being the last day of the month, the last day of the quarter, the two numbers will be key drivers in today's market, where high volatility is expected, said Hogan.
The Institute of Supply Management in Chicago is to release the September index of manufacturing activity at 9:45 a.m. EDT. A reading of 52.0 is forecast, up from 50.0 in the previous month.
S&P 500 futures rose 5.1 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 gained 39 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 6 points.
The S&P is up 15.4 percent and on track to lock in its best quarterly performance since Q4 1998. Year to date, its up 17.4 percent and up nearly 60 percent from a 12-year low in early March.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)