GO
Loading...

Futures Hold Gains After Economic News

U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open Wednesday, a day after Wall Street suffered its biggest one-day drop this year, following a handful of better-than-expected economic news.

Private employers in the U.S. created 216,000 jobs in February, according to the ADP National Employment Report, exceeding expectations for a gain of 208,000.

The figures come ahead of Friday's monthly government jobs report. Economists polled by Reuters expect a gain of 210,000 in overall nonfarm payrolls, with the addition of 225,000 jobs in the private sector.

Meanwhile, unit labor costs rose at an annual rate of 2.8 percentin the fourth-quarter, according to the Labor Department. Economists had expected the rate to be unchanged. Wages rose at an upwardly revised 3.9 percent pace in the third quarter.

The Dowdropped more than 200 points in the previous session, marking the worst day for the blue-chip index in almost three months amid renewed fears of a disorderly default in Greece.

Apple will also be in the spotlight, as the tech giant is expected to launch a new version of the iPad at an event in San Francisco. The event is expected to start at 1pm ET. (Watch: What to Expect When Apple Unveils New iPad)

General Electric edged higher after the conglomerate confirmed its outlook for 2012 and its expectations for continued double-digit percentage revenue growth in emerging market regions until at least next year. GE is the minority shareholder of NBCUniversal.

On the earnings front, Pandora plunged after the online radio company handed in a weak outlook despite a surge in listeners and strong sales growth.

American Eagle Outfitters gained even after the retailer posted a smaller profit, hurt by promotions and discounts during the holiday season.

H&R Block is slated to post earnings after-the-bell tonight.

European shares rose, with the previous session's one-month lows luring investors with bets that Greece will muddle through its debt woes, and global growth will hold up relatively well. (Read More: Why Greek Default May Be Gift to Other Euro Strugglers)

Also on the economic front, mortgage applications dipped last weekas refinance demand slumped, even though home purchases gained, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Crude inventories for the week ending March 3 will be released by the Energy Department at 10:30 a.m. Inventories rose by 4.16 million in the prior week.

The Federal Reserve will issue consumer credit data for January at 3 p.m. Economists polled by Reuters forecast a $10 billion rise, a fall from December’s $19.31 billion increase.

—Follow JeeYeon Park on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC

On Tap This Week:

WEDNESDAY: Oil inventories, consumer credit; Earnings from H&R Block
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, quarterly services survey; Earnings from Smithfield Foods, Aeropostale
FRIDAY: Non-farm payrolls, international trade, wholesale trade; Earnings from Ann

More From CNBC.com: