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Market Hustle: Futures Higher on Stronger World Growth Forecasts

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were rising Wednesday as gains in offshore markets and an improved outlook from the World Bank helped buoy sentiment.  

Futures for the S&P 500 were rising 3.52 over fair value to 1836.25 while futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 31.14 over fair value to 16,335.0. Nasdaq futures were 12.60  over fair value to 3586.0.

The World Bank said faster economic growth would be driven by high-income economies this year. It forecast global growth to rise to 3.2% in 2014 from 2.4% last year and 3.4% in 2015.

On the economic calendar, the Empire State Manufacturing Index for January and Producer Price Index for December are due at 8.30 a.m. EST, with expectations for a 0.4% rise in the latter. The Beige Book, a report on economic conditions used at Federal Open Market Committee meetings, is due at 2 p.m. 

In Fed speak, Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans will speak at an economic forecast lunch in Iowa at 12:50 p.m. while Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Dennis Lockhart will speak on the economy and monetary policy in Atlanta at 5:20 p.m.

Markets closed higher Tuesday, bolstered by stronger than expected retail sales and merger activity.

In earnings,  Bank of America  (BAC) is due to post fourth-quarter earnings per share of 26 cents on revenue of $21.2 billion.  Apple  (AAPL) shares were rising more than 1% in premarket trade after China Mobile's (CHL) chairman said the company's deal with Apple would involve broad cooperation between the companies and noted millions of iPhones had already been ordered by its customers.

The Hang Seng finished 0.49% higher while Japan's Nikkei jumped 2.50% on Wednesday. Germany's DAX was up 1.04% while the FTSE was rising 0.36%.
-- Written by Jane Searle in New York

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