U.S. stock index futures signal gains at open

PARIS Wed Dec 5, 2012 5:01am EST

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PARIS Dec 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were indicated to open higher on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.35 percent, Dow Jones up 0.43 percent and Nasdaq 100 up 0.41 percent at 0955 GMT.

* European shares resumed a recent sharp rally on Wednesday after comments from China's new leader boosted global growth expectations.

* Chinese Communist Party chief Xi Jinping said the country will maintain its fine-tuning of economic policies in 2013 to ensure stable economic growth, sparking a sharp rally in Chinese shares with the Shanghai Composite Index surging 2.9 percent.

* Xi listed tax reform, urbanization and allowing the market to play a bigger role in setting resource prices as among his key priorities.

* On the domestic front, investors awaited ADP's November employment report, due at 1315 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey expect 125,000 jobs were created versus 158,000 in October. Other data on Wednesday include factory orders and ISM's November non-manufacturing index, both due at 1500 GMT.

* Repsol filed a U.S. lawsuit to block Chevron Corp's deal with Argentina's YPF, ramping up the Spanish oil company's legal response to the loss of its assets in Argentina.

* Programmable chipmaker Altera Corp trimmed its fourth-quarter revenue expectation citing fewer orders for its older products, sending its shares down 2 percent after the bell.

* Aerovironment Inc posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit as its unmanned aircraft unit sold more fixed-price products, sending its shares up 9 percent after the bell.

* Pandora Media Inc lowered its fourth-quarter guidance, blaming a pull-back by advertisers on concerns about the U.S. budget, but analysts suggested it was due more to increasing competition.

* The U.S. Senate on Tuesday voted 98-0 to approve a wide-ranging defense bill that authorizes $631.4 billion in funding for the U.S. military, the war in Afghanistan and nuclear weapons.

* Walt Disney gave a much needed boost to Netflix , becoming the first major Hollywood studio to use the video service to bypass premium channels like HBO that traditionally controlled the delivery of movies to TV subscribers.

* The U.S. securities regulator is investigating a $10 million stock sale in March by Steven Fishman, chief executive of close-out retailer Big Lots Inc who announced his retirement on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the inquiry.

* U.S. stocks finished slightly lower in a quiet session on Tuesday as the back-and-forth wrangling over the "fiscal cliff" gave investors little reason to act.

* The Dow Jones industrial average fell 13.82 points, or 0.11 percent, to 12,951.78 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dipped 2.41 points, or 0.17 percent, to 1,407.05. The Nasdaq Composite Index shed 5.51 points, or 0.18 percent, to close at 2,996.69.

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