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Futures Higher After GDP News, ECB Injection

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.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will be presenting his semi-annual monetary policy report to Congress at 10 a.m. ET. Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher and Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser are also expected to speak.

The Fed will release its latest Beige Book, its region-by-region assessment of the U.S. economy, at 2 p.m.

The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index of manufacturing activity will issue results for February at 9:45 a.m. Analysts polled by Briefing.com expect the index to fall from 60.2 to 60.0.

At 10:30 a.m., crude inventories for the week ended February 25 will be released. In the prior week, levels were at 1.63 million.

Weekly mortgage applications rose last weekas interest rates dipped, although demand for refinancing declined, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.

—Follow JeeYeon Park on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC

Coming Up This Week:

WEDNESDAY: Fed's Fisher speaks, Chicago PMI, Bernanke speaks, oil inventories, Fed's Plosser speaks, Beige Book
THURSDAY; Fed's Pianalto speaks, jobless claims, personal income and spending, ISM mfg index, construction spending, Fed's Lockhart speaks, Fed's Williams speaks, auto sales, chain store sales, EU summit; Earnings from Big Lots, Kroger, Wendy's
FRIDAY: Fed's Bullard speaks, Yelp set to trade

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