ADP data show higher-than-expected payroll growth in the private employment sector, up 281,000 in June from 180,000 in May and above economists' estimates of 205,000.
"The job market is steadily improving," Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi wrote in a statement. "Judging from the job market, the economic recovery remains fully intact and is gaining momentum."
The official U.S. nonfarm payrolls report is due out Thursday, moved forward a day to account for the Independence Day holiday on Friday.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, which flirted with the 17,000-level Tuesday, were up 0.15% to 16,901. S&P 500 futures were creeping 0.17% higher to 1,969 and the Nasdaq was adding 0.15% to 3,890.75.
Also lifting global sentiment, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will deliver a speech at the International Monetary Fund in Washington at 11 a.m. EDT. Investors will be on the lookout for guidance on monetary policy and hints on a timeline of when U.S. interest rates will rise.
Wall Street will get another glimpse of the health of the manufacturing sector with factory orders due for release at 10 a.m. Analysts expect a 0.3% dip in May orders from a 0.7% increase the month earlier.
European markets were mixed, though all Asian markets closed higher, bolstered by the strength in U.S. markets. Upside in Europe was restrained, though, as investors of the FTSE, CAC and DAX await Yellen's speech and more economic indicators out this morning.