Stocks were poised for significant gains early Thursday amid strong overseas sessions, as traders turned bullish in the hours leading up to the

Federal Reserve's

interest rate decision.

Index futures recently showed the

S&P 500

trading 7 points above fair value, while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a 9-point gain. The 10-year Treasury bond was unchanged in price to yield 5.23%, while the dollar held steady against the yen and euro.

Fed policymakers meeting in Washington are expected to announce their 17th consecutive quarter-point rate hike today at around 2:15 p.m. EDT. As always, traders will comb the accompanying policy statement for clues about future moves. Fed funds futures currently price in 80% odds of another hike when the Fed meets in August.

Also Thursday, the Commerce Department releases its third and final report on first-quarter gross domestic product growth. Economists expect the rate to be revised upward to 5.6% from the 5.3% reported previously. Growth ran at a 1.7% rate in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Overseas markets were uniformly higher, with London's FTSE 100 recently adding 1.2% to 5746 and Germany's Xetra DAX adding 1.1% to 5517. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei surged 1.6% overnight to 15,121, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.8% to 15,865.

Most commodity prices were also rising, with August crude recently adding 33 cents to $72.52 a barrel and gold up $2.40 to $583.40 an ounce.

On Wednesday, strength in

General Motors

(GM) - Get Report

,

Intel

(INTC) - Get Report

and

Exxon Mobil

(XOM) - Get Report

helped the

Dow

to a 49-point gain, leaving the average at 10,974. The S&P 500 rose 7 points to 1246, while the

Nasdaq Composite

added 12 points to 2112.

To view David Peltier's video take on today's premarket action, click here

.