US STOCKS-Futures up after string of losses, German data supports

Tue Jan 7, 2014 8:29am EST

* German unemployment unexpectedly falls

* Futures up: Dow 69 pts, S&P 7 pts, Nasdaq 17 pts

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Jan 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday as upbeat data out of Germany helped the S&P 500 rebound after three days of losses.

German unemployment unexpectedly fell in December on a seasonally adjusted basis, bolstering hopes that domestic consumption could lift growth in Europe's biggest economy.

With scant items on the U.S. economic diary, traders looked ahead to the minutes of the latest Federal Reserve meeting, due out on Wednesday, as well as Friday's payrolls report, for clues on the state of the world's largest economy.

"Europe's data has not been bad, it gives optimism," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst, Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

She said investors awaited Friday's jobs report and the start of the corporate earnings season for trading incentives.

S&P 500 futures rose 7 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 69 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 17 points.

Economic activity may be hurt by a polar vortex - strong upper-level winds in the Northern hemisphere that normally hover over the polar region but can be pushed south - that was enveloping the U.S. East Coast. The rush of frigid air comes less than a week after the year's first snowstorm blanketed the region, which includes the financial hubs of New York and Boston.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich showed off wearable computing devices on Monday, including ear buds that monitor the wearer's heart rate and a smart headset, as the world's largest chipmaker tries to get back on track after missing out on smartphones. Intel shares ticked up 0.5 percent in light premarket trading.

Morgan Stanley cut its rating on Netflix shares to "underweight." Netflix dipped 3.8 percent in premarket trading.

Shares of Neurocrine Biosciences soared 56 percent in premarket trading a day after it said its movement disorder drug showed a reduction in symptoms compared with a placebo in a mid-stage study.

Shares of therapeutic delivery systems provider Stereotaxis jumped 37 percent in trading before the bell, following completion of a clinical trial.

Janet Yellen made history on Monday as the U.S. Senate confirmed her as the first woman to lead the U.S. central bank in its 100-year history.

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