U.S. stock index futures edge higher, earnings in focus
LONDON Oct 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wall Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 rising 0.3 to 0.4 percent.
* Wall Street is likely to take its cues from quarterly reports as earnings take center stage, with a slew of major companies reporting results this week. Companies announcing results on Monday include Caterpillar, Yahoo and Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold.
* European stocks fell 0.1 percent, with a key index slipping further from a one-month high hit last week as investors worried about corporate profits after a string of disappointing results.
* U.S. agriculture giant Archer Daniels Midland has bid $2.8 billion for GrainCorp, sending shares in Australia's last independent grains handler soaring, as markets bet on a higher offer price or rival bids being flushed out.
* An investor group led by private equity firm Permira Advisers LLP has agreed to buy genealogy website Ancestry.com Inc for about $1.6 billion, or $32 a share, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the deal.
* China's top leaders have asked policy think-tanks to draw up their most ambitious economic reform proposals in decades that could curb the power of state firms and give more freedom to the setting of interest rates and the yuan currency.
* European Union leaders face two months of tough bargaining on money, power and the future governance of the euro zone before they can boost confidence that the existential threat to the single currency has faded.
* Japan's exports tumbled in the year to September at their sharpest pace since the aftermath of last year's earthquake, while the Bank of Japan cut its outlook for local regional economies due to a row with China and weak global demand.
* U.S. stocks ended the week on Friday with their worst day since late June after Dow components General Electric and McDonald's, both barometers of the overall economy's health, added to a disappointing earnings season.
* The Dow Jones industrial average lost 205.43 points, or 1.52 percent, to close at 13,343.51. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 24.15 points, or 1.66 percent, to 1,433.19. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 67.24 points, or 2.19 percent, to close at 3,005.62.
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