U.S. stocks opened higher on Wednesday, the last day of the third quarter, as data showing the U.S. economy contracted at a slower-than-expected pace gave investors more confidence about the economic recovery.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 21.09 points, or 0.22 percent, to 9,763.29. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 2.74 points, or 0.26 percent, to 1,063.35. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 9.30 points, or 0.44 percent, to 2,133.34.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)