US STOCKS-Futures up as economic worries ease, data on tap

Wed Sep 1, 2010 7:59am EDT

Related Topics

* China, Australia data ease economic concern

* Jobs, housing data on deck

* Futures up: Dow 75 pts, S&P 12.6 pts, Nasdaq 22.75 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Sept 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday as new signs of growth in China and Australia eased concerns about the global economy's health and investors awaited data on the labor market and housing.

China's manufacturing economy staged a moderate rebound in August after slowing for several months, while Australia's economy grew at its fastest pace in three years last quarter on a boost in household spending. For details, see [ID:nTOE68001O] and [ID:nSGE67U0L3]

"There was a rebound in the manufacturing index in China, and in a market as oversold as this one, any good news is going to have a more magnified effect on stocks," said Rick Meckler, president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in New York.

The manufacturing data in China helped boost metals prices, and lifted copper to its highest level in more than four months. Shares of aluminum producer Alcoa Inc (AA.N) gained 2.1 percent to $10.43 in premarket trade. [ID:nLDE6800SB]

An August report on private sector payrolls is due from Automatic Data Processing at 8:15 a.m. EDT [1215 GMT]. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast 19,000 jobs were created in August versus 42,000 created in July.

"There hasn't really been any good news associated with jobs in quite a while. At this point, people are just looking at trends. Can it get worse or is there at least stability at these reasonably weak numbers," added Meckler.

S&P 500 futures SPc1 rose 12.6 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures DJc1 climbed 75 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures NDc1 gained 22.75 points.

The Institute for Supply Management releases its August manufacturing index at 10 a.m. EDT [1400 GMT]. Economists look for a reading of 53.0 versus 55.5 in July.

Also at 10 a.m. EDT [1400 GMT], the Commerce Department releases July construction spending. Economists forecast a fall of 0.5 percent, compared with an 0.1 percent rise in the prior month.

Burger King Holdings Inc BKC.N, the No. 2 U.S. hamburger chain, may put itself up for sale and has already held talks with potential buyers, a source said. [ID:nSGE68006Y]

Its shares jumped nearly 20 percent to $19.70 premarket.

Apple Inc (AAPL.O) is expected to show off a snazzier line of iPods on Wednesday and may also unveil plans to reinvigorate its long-neglected TV line. Shares rose 1.1 percent to $245.86 premarket.

Genzyme Corp GENZ.O Chief Executive Henri Termeer told Reuters he is willing to sell the company he built up over 25 years, but not for $69 a share. [ID:nN31263373]

European shares advanced more than 1 percent to a near two-week high on Wednesday, lifted by the China data and corporate takeover talk in the market. [ID:nLDE67416G]

Asian stocks rose as investors cheered the China and Australian reports, which halted the yen's advance towards a 15-year peak against the dollar. The Nikkei index ended up 1.2 percent. [ID:nSGE680044] (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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