U.S. stock index futures held gains Wednesday, following a better-than-expected GDP report and after European banks took up more than 500 billion euros in an effort to stabilize the region's financial system.
On the economic front, GDP grew at a 3 percent annual rate, logging the fastest gain since the second quarter of 2010, according to the Commerce Department. Economists had expected GDP to be unchanged at a 2.8 percent rate. The economy expanded at a 1.8 percent pace in the third quarter.
European shares gained as the ECB’s mass loanissuance released extra liquidity into the financial sector. Banks absorbed almost 530 euros of the ECB's second offering of low-cost three-year loans, topping expectations.
The Dow finished above the psychologically-important 13,000 level in the previous session for the first time since May 2008, while the S&P 500 closed at its best level in almost four years.
Costco edged higher after the warehouse club operator topped earnings that topped expectations, thanks to its its lower-priced gasoline that drew more customers to stores.
Apple's market cap topped the $500 billion levelafter the market closed Tuesday, amid reports that iPad 3 launch may be imminent.
Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo may face federal enforcement actionrelated to mortgage-backed securities deals leading into the financial crisis, according to regulatory filings by the banks.