The consensus view for GDP calls for growth of 2.8%, up from from the initial estimate of 2%, according to Briefing.com. Longtime market watcher Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Research noted in emailed commentary on Wednesday that consumer spending has likely provided a big boost to GDP and that favorable data on exports, residential investment and inventories should also contribute to the higher growth. Yardeni was optimistic about the fourth quarter as well, forecasting GDP growth of 2.8%. "Rebuilding activities related to Hurricane Sandy should provide a big boost to economic growth during November and December, and early next year," he wrote. "In other words, the storm surge could partly offset the fiscal cliff if we fall off of it. In addition, many corporations are significantly boosting their dividend payouts now, anticipating that the tax rate on such income will increase sharply next year." And finally, it was a busy after-hours session with Dow component Walt Disney ( DIS) announcing a 25% boost to its annual dividend, bringing the payout of 75 cents a share; and shares of Aeropostale ( ARO) slumping after the specialty retailer gave fourth-quarter earnings guidance of 36 to 41 cents a share, well below the consensus view for a profit of 54 cents a share. -- Written by Michael Baron in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.