U.S. stock index futures signal higher Wall St open

LONDON, April 8 Mon Apr 8, 2013 4:17am EDT

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LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Monday after Friday's sell-off, mirroring gains in Japan and Europe, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 rising 0.1 to 0.2 percent.

* Earnings forecasts have been scaled back heading into first-quarter reports, due to start on Monday with Alcoa. S&P 500 earnings are expected to have risen just 1.6 percent from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data, down from a 4.3 percent forecast in January.

* The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago releases its Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index for February at 1230 GMT. The index read 97.0 in January.

* United Parcel Services' appeal of the European Union regulator's decision to block its bid for TNT Express was not a renewal of the offer, the Dutch delivery company said on Monday.

* A potential $7 billion order from British Airways for Airbus A350 jets is set to hand Boeing Co its next major challenge as it nears the end of a three-month crisis over the grounding of the 787 Dreamliner, analysts said.

* The Conference Board releases its employment trend index for March at 1400 GMT. In the previous report, it read 111.1.

* European shares rose 0.5 percent on Monday after the previous session's hefty losses, led by banks and miners but with gains likely to be capped by concerns about the region's debt crisis.

* Portugal led index decliners, down 1.6 percent, after its constitutional court rejected some of the austerity measures introduced as a condition of the country's bailout.

* A strain of bird flu that has been found in humans for the first time in eastern China is not a cause for panic, the World Health Organization said on Monday, as the number of people infected rose to 21, with six deaths.

* Movement around an atomic test site in North Korea indicates the reclusive state may stage another nuclear test, a South Korean minister said on Monday, an act that would further drive up tensions on the Korean peninsula.

* U.S. stocks ended their worst week this year with losses on Friday after a weaker-than-expected jobs report undermined confidence in the economy and first-quarter earnings growth.

* The Dow Jones industrial average was down 40.86 points, or 0.28 percent, at 14,565.25 on Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was down 6.70 points, or 0.43 percent, at 1,553.28. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 21.12 points, or 0.66 percent, at 3,203.86.

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