NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures moved solidly higher on Wednesday, looking to end a poor third quarter on a positive note. This quarter has been the worst for equities in four years.
S&P 500 futures were up 1.2%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 1.1%, and Nasdaq futures added 1.3%.
The U.S. economy added 200,000 private sector jobs in September, above expectations for an increase of 190,000. However, August's job gains were revised down to 186,000 from 190,000, according to the ADP jobs report. The official jobs report from the Labor Department will be released on Friday.
Major benchmark indexes were on track for quarterly losses of around 9% after facing a range of worries over the past three months. Prime among them, China's devaluation of the yuan and further signs of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy that rocked markets since August.
European markets moved higher even after fresh data showed the eurozone slipping into deflationary territory again. Inflation in September fell 0.1% across the eurozone despite the European Central Bank's stimulus program.
Asian markets closed in the green after consumer sentiment in China improved to its highest level since 2014. The Westpac MNI China Consumer Sentiment Indicator rose to 118.2 in September, its best reading since May last year.
Chesapeake Energy (CHK) - Get Report shares were slightly lower after the company announced it will cut 15% of its work force. The energy producer also estimated that it will incur around $55.5 million in one-time charges over the third quarter.
Costco (COST) - Get Report shares were on watch after the bulk retailer beat quarterly profit estimates and reported strong comparable-store sales. Sales in the U.S. rose 2%, or 6% excluding gas and foreign exchange, over the fourth quarter. Domestic strength offset weakness in Canada and other international markets.
Ralph Lauren (RL) - Get Report climbed 6% in premarket trading after its namesake CEO and founder announced he was stepping down as chief executive. Gap's (GPS) - Get Report president of Old Navy, Stefan Larsson, will assume the role of CEO.
Western Digital (WDC) - Get Report added nearly 4% after China's Unisplendour agreed to take a 15% stake in the company in a purchase worth $3.8 billion. The deal values Western Digital shares at $92.50, a massive premium to the $69.37 closing price on Tuesday.
Diamond Foods (DMND) added 0.1% after a mixed fourth quarter. Quarterly profit of 23 cents a share beat estimates by 2 cents, while revenue slid 8% to $201.81 million.