Wall Street was set for a flat to higher open on Wednesday with the falling dollar likely to underpin shares of natural resource companies, including energy producers and miners.

The U.S. dollar fell to fresh 2009 lows against the euro, keeping gold prices near the $1,000 level. Oil rose nearly 1 percent above $71 a barrel as OPEC ministers were set to meet and expected to leave official output unchanged.

Oil is coming up and so is gold, so the commodity theme is still alive and well right now, said Frank Lesh, a futures analyst and broker at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago.

Shares of health insurers are also in focus ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's speech to Congress Wednesday evening in which he will provide specifics about his vision for overhauling the healthcare system.

In an encouraging sign for the ailing housing sector, mortgage applications surged last week, with demand rising to its highest level since late-May, data showed. A recovery in housing is seen as key to a sustainable economic rebound.

S&P 500 futures added 1.70 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 8 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 2 points.

Investors will get a look at the state of the economy after the Federal Reserve issues the Beige Book, a summary of economic conditions in the 12 Fed districts at 2:00 p.m. EDT.

Shares of General Electric Co gained 3 percent to $14.93 in premarket trading after Goldman Sachs raised its price target to $18 from $15.

McDonald's Corp slipped 1.5 percent to $55.40 after the hamburger chain said sales at restaurants worldwide open at least 13 months rose 2.2 percent in August.

Retailer Talbots Inc jumped 10 percent to $7.80 after it reported a quarterly loss that was not as deep as expected as the company attempts a turnaround through cost-cutting and better merchandising.

Shares of Microchip Technology Inc rose 1.8 percent to $27.57 after the chipmaker raised its revenue and earnings outlook for the second quarter on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Barclays raised its price target to $28.

Stocks advanced on Tuesday on an uptick in merger and activity, while the weak dollar led to gains in commodities, lifting shares of oil and mining companies.

The S&P 500 has rallied 52 percent from its multiyear low in March, and analysts still gave an upbeat outlook for the benchmark.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)