* Allied World to buy Transatlantic for $3.2 bln
* Futures up: Dow 43 pts, S&P 4.4 pts, Nasdaq 4.25 pts
* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
NEW YORK, June 13 U.S. stock index futures
edged higher on Monday after six weeks of declines for the S&P
500 left equities at more attractive levels.
* In a sign that valuations are hitting enticing levels,
insurer Allied World Assurance Co Holdings Ltd (AWH.N) agreed
to buy Transatlantic Holdings TRH.N for $3.2 billion in
stock. For details, see [ID:nL3E7HD00X]
* In a positive sign for the consumer, U.S. crude prices
fell more than $1 to near $98 per barrel. Growing investor
concern about an economic slowdown combined with rising output
from Saudi Arabia have pressured prices lower. [O/R]
* S&P 500 futures SPc2 rose 4.4 points and were above
fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into
account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures DJc2 gained 43
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures NDc2 added 4.25 points.
* Worries about a global economic slowdown continued to
hover over equity markets, with some investors expecting the
S&P 500 to slip toward its March low near 1,250 before the
market can stage a comeback.
* The Fed said Friday it will buy $50 billion of U.S.
Treasuries, the final series of government bond purchases that
marks the last phase of a $600 billion program launched in
November 2010 to help jump-start the economy. [ID:nNYD003821]
* European shares were up 0.3 percent as bargain hunters
picked through the debris after six weeks of losses. Concerns
over the health of the global economy and the lack of consensus
from policymakers on how to tackle Greece's debt crisis
limited gains. [ID:nLDE68615F]
* European policymakers appeared no closer to finalizing an
agreement over whether private investors would take part in a
restructuring of Greek debt. [ID:nLDE68T0MG]
* Overnight, data showed China's money growth slowed to a
30-month low in May and banks extended fewer new loans than
expected as tighter monetary policy started to bite.
* In Japan, core machinery orders unexpectedly fell,
suggesting a bumpy recovery from the earthquake and tsunami as
companies delayed capital spending until demand materializes.
[ID:nL3E7HD08U] and [ID:nL3E7HA0U7]
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)