) -- Stock futures were pointing to a flat open Wednesday after a report said the U.S. economy grew only slightly faster than previously estimated during the third quarter, disappointing expectations for a higher revision.

Futures for the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

were down 2 points at 11,533 and were a fraction below fair value. Futures for the

S&P 500

were unchanged at 1,254 and were about 1 point ahead of fair value.


futures were down 3 points at 2,234 and were trading at close to fair value.

The Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis said in its final estimate that

the U.S. economy grew 2.6% during the third quarter, slightly higher than the previous estimate of 2.5%. Economists were expecting third quarter GDP to be revised to 2.7%, according to consensus estimates from


Stocks have been grinding higher in December on the back of expectations for a faster recovery in the U.S. economy. Recent economic data has been better than expected and the extension of Bush era tax cuts for another two years has also buoyed sentiment.

Major indices hit two-year highs on Tuesday on the back of a surge in deal-making activity and strong quarterly earnings reports.

On Wednesday, economic data will likely snap back into focus. At 10:00 a.m., the National Association of Realtors will release existing-home sales data for the month of November. Existing-home sales is expected to rise to 4.65 million from 4.43 million in the previous month.

Investors will also be looking out for Energy Information Administration's crude oil inventories report at 10:30 a.m. Crude oil prices hit a two-year high of $90 Wednesday morning, with cold weather driving demand for heating and inventories tightening. The American Petroleum Institute said Tuesday that crude oil inventories fell by 5.8 million barrels last week.

Crude oil for February delivery was last rising 38 cents to $90.20.

Asian markets finished on a mixed note on Wednesday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.2%, while Japan's Nikkei closed lower by 0.2%.

Trading was mixed in Europe as well following the report that the UK economy grew slower than expected in the third quarter. The FTSE in the UK was rising modestly higher by 0.2%, while the DAX in Frankfurt was trading flat.

The euro was last up by 0.3% against the dollar at $1.3147. The dollar was trading lower against basket of currencies, with the dollar index down 0.3%.

In corporate news,

Rio Tinto

(RIO) - Get Report

is close to finalizing a $3.8 billion takeover of South Africa-based Riversdale,


reported, citing two anonymous sources.


(NAV) - Get Report

said Wednesday that fourth-quarter earnings declined 55% as the North American truck market has remained depressed.



said first-quarter 2011 profits grew 26.5% to 62 cents per share from 49 cents a year ago. Analysts were expecting 54 cents per share.

Shares of


(NKE) - Get Report

were under pressure in premarket trading, shedding 5% to $87.65. The company released better-than-expected earnings on Tuesday, but future orders rose less than expected. The company reported that futures orders, which refer to Nike merchandise to be delivered between December 2010 and April 2011, were up 11% to $7.7 billion.

The February gold contract was rising 3 cents to $1,389.10 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury note was down 4/32, raising the yield to 3.317%.

-- Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York


Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors and reporters from holding positions in any individual stocks.