Wall Street was set for a higher open on Wednesday as data showing the U.S. economy contracted at a slower-than-expected pace and robust factory activity from Asia gave investors more confidence about the economic recovery.
Better-than-expected results from apparel and footwear maker Nike Inc also suggested improvement in long-stagnant consumer spending.
The U.S. Commerce Department's final reading on gross domestic product for the second quarter showed GDP fell at a 0.7 percent annual rate, instead of the 1.0 percent decline reported last month. It was also lower than the Reuters analyst consensus forecast of a 1.2 percent fall.
It's a healthy revision because it reflects less weak domestic demand, said Pierre Ellis, senior economist at Decision Economics in New York.
Strong manufacturing activity data out of China and Japan also boosted global commodities markets, providing fresh evidence of an economic recovery. Oil prices rose 0.8 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.
Less rosy numbers came from the ADP National Employment Report, a precursor to the government's own jobs report due on Friday, which showed job cuts in September in the private sector were greater than analysts expected.
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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 4.2 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 37 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 7.5 points.
The S&P is up 15.4 percent and on track to lock in its best quarterly performance since the fourth quarter of 1998. Year-to-date, the index is up 17.4 percent and up nearly 60 percent from a 12-year low in early March.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)