Jan 28 (Reuters) - Canadian stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Monday, mirroring expected Wall Street gains, after recent global economic data suggested the world's biggest economies are on their way to recovery.
* Caterpillar Inc reported a 55 percent drop in quarterly profit as customers sold off existing inventories rather than buy new machines.
* Yield-hungry investors bought 6.63 billion euros of two new Italian bonds at an auction, just less than the top-targeted amount, shrugging off uncertainty ahead of next month's election.
* Nordion said it has initiated a review of its strategic alternatives, almost four months after it suspended its dividend as an arbitration panel rejected its claim for damages from its main supplier.
* Japan's government stepped in to give Boeing Co's now-grounded 787 Dreamliner and its made-in-Japan technology a boost in 2008 by easing safety regulations, fast-tracking the rollout of the groundbreaking jet for Japan's biggest airlines, according to records and participants in the process.
* Toyota regained the crown as the world's top selling automaker in 2012, posting record-high sales and beating rivals General Motors and Volkswagen.
* Loans to companies and households in the euro zone contracted for the eighth month running in December, showing low official borrowing costs are having little success in reviving investment and spending.
* Canada stock futures traded up 0.12 percent
* U.S. stock futures , , were up around 0.06 percent to 0.13 percent
* European shares, were mixed
COMMODITY PRICE MOVES
* Thomson Reuters-Jefferies CRB Index : 299.7519; fell 0.01 percent
* Gold futures : $1,656.4; were unchanged
* US crude : $96.26; rose 0.4 percent
* Brent crude : $113.32; rose 0.04 percent
* LME 3-month copper : $8,070.5; rose 0.5 percent
CANADIAN STOCKS TO WATCH
* Nexen Inc. : The oil and gas producer and China's CNOOC said they have mutually agreed to extend the closing date of CNOOC's takeover of the company by 30 days to March 2, 2013.
* Silver Standard Resources Inc. : The miner expects construction at its San Luis mine in central Peru to begin this year, as it works to wrap up an agreement with a local land-owning community.
Following is a summary of research actions on Canadian companies reported by Reuters.
* Northern Graphite Corp. : Seymour Pierce starts with buy rating and target price C$1.70, says the company is well-financed to complete its project optimization work in 2013 and is well placed to exploit any uplift in graphite demand and prices.
* Telus Corp. : Canaccord Genuity raises target price to C$75 from C$70 on valuation changes.
* Rogers Communications Inc. : Canaccord Genuity raises target price to C$50 from C$43 based on increased long-term wireless forecasts that may result in higher cash flows.
* BCE Inc : Canaccord Genuity raises target price to C$46 from C$44 and said the company seems well-positioned for cash flow growth.
ON THE CALENDAR
* No major Canadian economic data scheduled for release
* Major U.S. events and data includes durable goods and pending home sales