* Apple up ahead of new iPad unveiling
* Private sector job gains top expectations
* Greek debt swap accepted by 30 major holders
* Futures up: S&P 6.4 pts, Dow 57 pts, Nasdaq 13.75 pts
By Edward Krudy
NEW YORK, March 7 U.S. stock index futures
rose on Wednesday, a day after Wall Street suffered its worst
selloff in three months and as a report showed the private
sector added more jobs than expected.
In Tuesday's tumble, the Dow dropped 200 points on renewed
concerns about Greece's debt restructuring and the outlook for
the global economy after China cut its growth forecast. It was
one of the worst performances since equities began a more than
20 percent rise from lows in October.
The pace of job creation by U.S. private employers
accelerated more than expected in February as the private sector
added 216,000 jobs, the ADP National Employment Report showed.
The closely watched government payrolls report comes
"This does suggest we are moving it the right
direction," said Beth Ann Bovino, senior U.S. economist at
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services in New York. "It supports the
expectations of another 200,000 plus in Friday's payroll report.
The jobs numbers are looking healthier."
S&P 500 futures gained 6.4 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 were up 57
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 13.75 points.
Helping to reassure markets, 30 major holders of Greek
government bonds said they will take part in the country's debt
swap, increasing chances of a deal going through.
European shares rose 0.6 percent on Wednesday as
the previous session's steep selloff tempting back investors.
Early U.S. market indications showed materials-related and
banking stocks, which took the brunt of Tuesday's losses, would
drive gains. Bank of America Corp rose 1.4 percent to
$7.82. United States Steel Corp gained 1.2 percent to
Anticipation of Apple Inc's latest iPad also
kept investors engaged. The company will unveil what is
expected to be a faster and better-equipped tablet computer
later Wednesday. The stock rose 1.1 percent to $536.11.
Apple, the world's most valuable company in terms of
market capitalization, will likely drive technology shares after
its product launch, especially because of its large weighting in
the Nasdaq 100 index.
Intraday swings in Apple are at the most volatile
levels since October last year. The stock is up over 30 percent
"The Apple introduction will be very meaningful for the
market if they really can show some true innovation in the
product. It could give a nice push to technology stocks across
the board," said Rick Meckler, president of LibertyView Capital
Management in New York. "If the introduction is weak and shows
no real interest it could lead to some selloff there."
Separately, Samsung Electronics Co filed another
lawsuit against Apple in South Korea, claiming the iPhone 4S and
iPad2 infringed on three of its patents.
Ciena Corp posted a wider-than-expected
quarterly loss, hurt by delayed contracts, but expects results
to improve in the second half of 2012, sending the network
gearmaker's shares up 8.6 percent to $14.60.