Stock index futures pointed to a higher opening on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.9 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.8 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.8 percent at 4:54 a.m. EST.

On the macro front, data showed on Wednesday Chinese factory output growth surged to a 19-month high in October, signaling that the world's third-biggest economy has firmly put the worst of the global economic crisis behind it.

United Parcel Service Inc , the world's largest package delivery service, expects growth in its volumes next year as the global economy gradually recovers, its chief said on Wednesday.

Private equity firm TPG Capital could partner with American Airlines in a minority investment in Japan Airlines <9205.T> to prevent its defection to a rival airline group, the chief financial officer of American parent AMR Corp said.

McGraw-Hill Inc is committed to its Standard & Poor's unit, and welcomes tougher regulation aimed at further transparency and accountability in the credit ratings industry, its chairman said on Wednesday.

Unhappy over constraints imposed by U.S. government overseers, American International Group Inc's chief executive, Robert Benmosche, told the company's board last week that he was considering stepping down, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Oil eased below $79 a barrel on Wednesday, as mildly bearish October loans data from China offset signs of robust industrial output and retail sales from the world's second-largest energy consumer.

The dollar hit a 15-month low against a currency basket on Wednesday as the U.S. currency came under broad selling pressure versus its higher-risk counterparts on the view that the global economy may be improving.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Wednesday he believes strongly in the need to maintain a strong dollar and said the United States was determined to get its budget deficit down.

High unemployment and reluctant consumers will likely make an incipient U.S. economic recovery weak and erratic, top Federal Reserve officials said in a string of speeches across the country on Tuesday.

Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> ended flat, while European stocks were up 1.1 percent in morning trade, powered by buoyant banking shares after results from Credit Agricole and UniCredit pleased investors.

Shares in Toll Brothers Inc rose more than 6 percent in extended trading on Tuesday after the homebuilder posted preliminary results. Shares last traded up 5.9 percent at $19.47.

On the earnings front, Computer Sciences Corp. , Macy's , The Progressive Corp.

and Applied Materials feature among the companies due to report results.

U.S. stocks closed mostly lower on Tuesday as differing views on whether the market can build on recent gains stalled the S&P 500's six-day winning streak.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 20.03 points, or 0.20 percent, to end at 10,246.97. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shed 0.07 of a point, or 0.01 percent, to 1,093.01. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 2.98 points, or 0.14 percent, to close at 2,151.08.

Wednesday's session was expected to be quiet because of the Veterans Day holiday. The U.S. bond market and government offices will remain closed, while other markets will trade normally.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Greg Mahlich)