NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were moving confidently higher on Wednesday after the trade deficit in April subsided to more normal levels and 201,000 jobs were added to U.S. private payrolls in May.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.45%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 0.5%, and Nasdaq futures added 0.73%.
The U.S. trade deficit retreated 19.2% in April to $40.9 billion after hitting a seven-year high of $50.6 billion in March that was tied to West Coast port closures. Economists expected a slightly wider deficit of $43.5 billion. The lower trade deficit will likely boost second-quarter GDP as the economy continues to comb out the kinks from port backlogs.
The U.S. private sector added 201,000 jobs in May, the most jobs added in four months, according to the ADP jobs report. Analysts had expected an increase of 200,000 after 169,000 additions in April.
"The relative strength in today's report is an encouraging sign that the labor market, and the economy, is re-accelerating after a winter slowdown," said Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at BTIG Research. "One report does not a trend make but in conjunction with other such data points, it appears the second quarter is set to be much better than the first quarter."
The private payrolls data foreshadows Friday's widely anticipated nonfarm payrolls from the Labor Department. Economists expect the U.S. economy to have added 225,000 jobs in May.
The ECB kept its key interest rates unchanged at lows on signs the eurozone is steadily improving thanks to the central bank's monthly bond purchases. The ECB left its main interest rate at 0.05%, a level it has remained at since last September. Analysts expected the ECB to leave the rate steady.
ECB President Mario Draghi said in a press conference that eurozone inflation had "bottomed out" at the beginning of the year due to monetary policy, falling oil prices and a weaker euro. The ECB raised consumer inflation forecasts to 0.3% for the full year, up from a previously expected flat reading.
European markets rallied after Draghi's comments. Germany's DAX was up 1.3%, France's CAC 40 added 1.3%, and the FTSE 100 in London added 0.6%.
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development cut its growth forecasts for global growth through to 2016, citing a weak recovery and sluggish investment. The OECD forecasts global growth of 1.9% in 2015 and 2.5% in 2016. The body dropped its forecast for U.S. growth to 2% from 3.1% in 2015 and 2.8% from 3% in 2016.
Wendy's (WEN) climbed more than 4% in premarket trading after announcing a $1.4 billion buyback. The company also increased its forecast for full-year earnings to 31 cents to 33 cents a share.
Guess? (GES) was slightly lower despite swinging to a first-quarter profit of 4 cents a share from a loss of 3 cents a year earlier. Revenue slid 8% to $479 million.
Vera Bradley (VRA) shares were on watch after the company reported break-even earnings in the first quarter, 2 cents shy of estimates. Revenue of $101.1 million was down 10% from a year earlier.
Amazon (AMZN) will provide free shipping for lighter items weighing 8 ounces or less in a move that rivals eBay's (EBAY) free-shipping policies for smaller and low-cost goods. The new program will be called Fulfillment by Amazon Small and Light.