Wall Street opened higher on Wednesday, even as data showed the U.S. economy shrank at a steeper pace than expected.

Investors are awaiting comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve on the state of the economy and are hopeful for signs the recession is abating.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 67.86 points, or 0.85 percent, to 8,084.81. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 7.54 points, or 0.88 percent, to 862.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> climbed 16.26 points, or 0.97 percent, to 1,690.07.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)