U.S. Stock-Index Futures Gain on China Data, Earnings

U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday, after better-than-expected economic data in China and ahead of the latest batch of corporate earnings.

The world's second-largest economy grew 7.5 percent in the second quarter, just above the 7.4 percent estimated by analysts, supported by the Chinese government stimulus.

Also supporting early gains was chipmaker Intel <INTC.O>, which rose 5 percent to $33.30 in premarket following second-quarter results that topped analysts' estimates. The company also forecast third-quarter revenue above Wall Street's expectations.

Bank of America <BAC.N> shed 0.9 percent to $15.67 in premarket after the second-largest U.S. bank by assets reported a 43 percent drop in second-quarter profit as mortgage revenue fell and litigation costs increased.

IBM <IBM.N> will partner exclusively with Apple Inc <APPL.O> to sell iPhones and iPads loaded with applications geared at enterprise clients this fall, the companies announced late Tuesday. IBM shares gained 2.2 percent to $192.59 and Apple advanced 2.5 percent to $97.72 in premarket.

But Yahoo <YHOO.O> shares were off 3.7 percent to $34.30 after its disappointing second-quarter results and outlook, although the company pledged to pay its shareholders at least half the proceeds from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's <IPO-BABA.N> mega-IPO this fall.

Merger and acquisition activity continued on Wall Street. Time Warner <TWX.N> shares jumped 13.1 percent before the bell after the New York Times reported Twenty-First Century Fox <FOXA.O> made an $80 billion takeover offer for the company that was turned down.

Italy's GTECH <GTCH.MI> will buy U.S. slot machine maker International Game Technology <IGT.N> for $6.4 billion including debt. IGT shares jumped 10.1 percent to $17.07 before the opening bell.

S&P 500 e-mini futures <ESc1> were up 6.5 points and fair value - a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract - indicated a higher open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures <1YMc1> rose 54 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures <NQc1> added 20.25 points.

Economic data expected on Wednesday includes producer prices for June at 8:30 a.m, June industrial production at 9:15 a.m. and the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo housing market index for July at 10:00 a.m.

After the closing bell, eBay <EBAY.O> and SanDisk <SNDK.O> are among S&P 500 companies due to report earnings.

S&P 500 companies' profits are expected to grow 5.2 percent in the second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data, down from the 8.4 percent growth forecast at the start of April. Revenue is seen up 3.2 percent.

European equity markets recovered from losses in the previous session as a rebound in Banco Espirito Santo <BES.LS> and in mining stocks lifted the region's bourses.

Asian stocks held steady after China reported economic growth that was just ahead of market expectations, drawing a sigh of relief from investors.