Also on the economic front, factory orders and ISM's November non-manufacturing index are both scheduled for release at 10 am ET.
Also helping with gains, a speech from China's new leader Xi Jinping fueled optimism that the country would continue to boost global growth. (Read More: China's New Leader Gives Market a Fillip, but Will It Last?)
In Europe, PMI figures suggested that the downturn in the euro zone eased slightly in November.
Facebook climbed after Nasdaq OMX announced late Tuesday evening that the social-networking giant will be added to the Nasdaq-100 index, replacing Infosys. Infosys will be moving its listing to the NYSE from the Nasdaq.
Best Buy edged higher after the consumer-electronics retailer said it is changing the payment date of its regular quarterly dividend to December from early January.
The looming U.S. "fiscal cliff" of tax increases and benefit cuts seemed no closer to being resolved on Tuesday evening, and stock market indexes finished down for the day.
On Wednesday, President Barack Obama will continue a series of meetings with the business community by traveling to the Business Roundtable group of chief executives of major U.S. corporates.
Among earnings, Men's Warehouse is scheduled to post results after the closing bell.
Weekly mortgage applications gained last week as loan requests for new purchases hit a new high for the year, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.