Wall Street was set for a higher open on Wednesday as Wall Street looked to build on gains in the prior session after unofficial data showed Chinese exports topped expectations, easing global recovery concerns.
Chinese exports jumped about 50 percent in May from a year earlier, sources told Reuters. If the data is officially confirmed Thursday, the surge would suggest the risk of a Chinese economic downturn is very small. The report fueled a rise in stock markets globally.
The growth in China has been a concern. The Chinese government has been slowing the economy to avoid a bubble in the housing market in particular and the general economy, said Tim Ghriskey, chief investment officer of Solaris Asset Management in Bedford Hills, New York.
This is certainly an indication the Chinese economy remains strong and can help power the economic recovery in the rest of the world.
On Tuesday, U.S. stocks mostly rose on strength in materials and financial shares. Late-day volatility led to equities closing at or near session highs after a wobbly session.
Investors have been looking for signs that Wall Street will reverse a slide that has pushed the S&P 500 into correction territory -- a decline of more than 10 percent from its April 23 high.
There has been a search for a bottom for this recent freefall and yesterday's stock action was very encouraging in that regard, particularly the final push at the end of the day, said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in New York.
S&P 500 futures rose 7.3 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 52 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 13.5 points.
Texas Instruments Inc gained 1.6 percent to $24.25 in premarket trading after the chipmaker said second-quarter earnings and revenue would be at the high end of its forecast on strong broad-based demand, particularly from industrial customers.
Ciena Corp's advanced 3.7 percent to $14.35 after the communications equipment maker said second-quarter loss was narrower than Wall Street expected and the company said customer spending was recovering.
Technology companies have a large sales base in Europe, and their shares have been under pressure recently as investors questioned whether the euro-zone debt crisis would affect profits.
U.S. healthcare software company Allscripts Misys Healthcare Solutions Inc said Wednesday it will buy rival Eclipsys Corp in a $1.3 billion all-stock deal that could create a market leader in electronic healthcare records.
Allscripts shed 4.1 percent to $17.67, while Eclipsys shares jumped 11 percent to $20.54.
Banco Santander said it will pay $2.5 billion for the 24.9 percent of Santander Mexico it does not own from Bank of America Corp, showing that the Spanish bank's expansion ambitions have not been slowed by a raft of purchases in the past 18 months.
U.S. listed shares of Banco Santander advanced 1.2 percent to $9.06, while Bank of America edged up 0.3 percent to $15.38.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will testify before the U.S. House Budget Committee at 10 a.m. EDT. The Fed's Beige Book survey of economic activity will be released at 2 p.m. EDT.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)