Wall Street looked set for a modest rise on Wednesday as a positive outlook from Kraft Foods Inc revived hopes for a strong earnings season, and Chinese Internet search engine Baidu Inc surged on news rival Google Inc may pull out of China.

Google's threat to withdraw from China because of censorship and cyber attacks on its systems pushed shares of rival Chinese search engine Baidu up 16.40 percent to $449.95. Google's shares fell 2 percent to $578.55.

Kraft raised its 2009 profit forecast late on Tuesday and said it was well-positioned to deliver strong performance, with or without a merger with Cadbury. Kraft shares rose 2.1 percent in premarket trade to $29.90.

Frank Lesh, futures analyst and broker at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago, futures were gaining as investors looked ahead to a broadly supportive earnings season.

Going into earnings, we'll look for some earnings volatility for the next few weeks, but overall the fourth quarter is expected to be better than the third, he said.

S&P 500 futures rose 1.7 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 rose 8 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 1 points.

Several broker upgrades also helped lift stocks premarket. Bank of America Merrill Lynch upgraded Massey Energy Co to buy from neutral, sending the shares up 2.8 percent to 49.72 premarket. Credit Suisse upgraded Merck & Co Inc to outperform from neutral, sending the shares up 1.6 percent to $38.14.

The U.S. Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book of regional economic conditions at 2 p.m. EST, and investors will scour the data for insights into the Fed's thinking on the economy.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)