US STOCKS-Futures gain after selloff, ADP jobs report eyed

Wed Mar 7, 2012 7:57am EST

Related Topics

* Apple to unveil new iPad tablet

* Private sector seen adding 208,000 jobs

* Futures up: S&P 5.8 pts, Dow 55 pts, Nasdaq 12.25 pts

By Edward Krudy

NEW YORK, March 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday, a day after Wall Street suffered its worst selloff in three months and ahead of a private employment report expected to show the U.S. economy added jobs in February.

In Tuesday's tumble, the Dow dropped 200 points on renewed concerns about Greece's debt restructuring and the outlook for the global economy after China cut its growth forecast. It was one of the worst performances since equities began a more than 20 percent rise from lows in October.

The release of Automatic Data Processing's (ADP) employment report for February, coming at 8:15 a.m. EST (1315 GMT) and before Friday's payrolls data, will be an important test for a market grown accustomed to signs of an improving labor market. Economists expect that 208,000 private sector jobs were created in February, versus 170,000 new jobs in January.

"The market has been straight up and it needed some profit-taking to generate interest among investor who have been on the sidelines to come back into this rally," said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital Management in New York.

"I would expect to see some rally back today as investors position themselves for Friday," he said.

Early indications in premarket trade showed materials-related and banking stocks, which took the brunt of Tuesday's losses, would gain back some losses. Bank of America Corp rose 1.4 percent to $7.82. Newmont Mining Corp gained 0.8 percent to $57.61.

S&P 500 futures gained 4.8 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 were up 55 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 10.5 points.

Apple Inc shares rose 0.7 percent to $533.90. The company will unveil a faster and better-equipped iPad tablet computer, intended to thwart competition from rivals such as Samsung Electronics Co and Amazon.com Inc.

"The Apple introduction will be very meaningful for the market if they really can show some true innovation in the product. It could give a nice push to technology stocks across the board," said LibertyView's Meckler. "If the introduction is weak and shows no real interest it could lead to some selloff there."

Thirty major holders of Greek government bonds said on Wednesday they will take part in the country's debt swap, increasing chances of a deal going through.

Samsung Electronics Co filed another lawsuit against Apple in South Korea, claiming the iPhone 4S and iPad2 infringed on three of its patents.

The Labor Department issues its revised fourth-quarter productivity and unit labor costs at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT). Economists forecast productivity to rise 0.8 percent versus a 0.7 percent gain in the preliminary report. Unit labor costs were set to increase 1.2 percent, a repeat of the preliminary number.

The U.S. Federal Reserve issues January consumer credit data at 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT). Economists forecast consumer credit to rise $10.0 billion versus a $19.31 billion increase in December.

European shares rose 0.4 percent on Wednesday as the previous session's steep selloff tempting back investors.

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