U.S. stock index futures gain, focus on earnings

LONDON, April 22 Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:18am EDT

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LONDON, April 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a 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 0.5 percent.

* Boeing Co on Monday began installing reinforced lithium ion batteries on five grounded 787 jets owned by launch customer All Nippon Airways, starting a process that should make the first commercial Dreamliners ready to fly again in about a week.

* Automation technology group ABB is to buy renewable energy firm Power-One Inc for around $1 billion to step up its presence in the growing solar inverters market.

* Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago releases its Chicago Fed National Activity Index for March at 1230 GMT. The index read 0.44 in the previous month.

* General Motors Co will add four new plants in the next three years in China to bring its production capacity to 5 million vehicles a year, the head of GM China said on Saturday at the Shanghai auto show.

* National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases existing home sales for March at 1400 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a 5.01 million annualized unit total in March, versus 4.98 million in February.

* Focus will be on company earnings, with Netflix seen reporting a profit after losses a year earlier when it began investing in new markets.

* Other major companies announcing results include Caterpillar, the world's largest maker of construction and mining, Halliburton, the world's second-largest oilfield services firm and Chipmaker Texas Instruments.

* European shares were led higher by the Italian blue-chip index on Monday, after sharp falls in the previous week, as investors bought back into the cheap market following signs of political progress there.

* U.S. stocks rose on Friday as earnings from Google and other companies lifted tech shares, but the gains weren't enough to stop the S&P 500 from suffering its worst week since November.

* The Dow Jones industrial average rose 10.37 points, or 0.07 percent, to 14,547.51 at the close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 13.64 points, or 0.88 percent, to finish at 1,555.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 39.69 points, or 1.25 percent, to close at 3,206.06.

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A tourist takes a plunge as she swims at Ngapali Beach, a popular tourist site, in the Thandwe township of the Rakhine state, October 6, 2013. Picture taken October 6, 2013. REUTERS/Soe Zeya Tun (MYANMAR - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR3FOI0

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