* Kraft raises 2009 forecast
* Baidu jumps as Google mulls China retreat
* China monetary tightening weighs on commodities
* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US]
By Edward Krudy
NEW YORK, Jan 13 U.S. stock index futures rose
on Wednesday as a positive outlook from Kraft Foods Inc revived
hopes of a strong earnings season, and Chinese Internet search
engine Baidu Inc surged on news rival Google Inc may pull out
Google's (GOOG.O) threat to withdraw from China because of
censorship and cyber attacks on its systems pushed shares of
rival Chinese search engine Baidu (BIDU.O) up 15,3 percent to
$445.79. Google's shares fell 1.9 percent to $579.31
Kraft KFT.N raised its 2009 profit forecast late on
Tuesday and said it was well-positioned to deliver strong
performance, with or without a merger with Cadbury. Kraft
shares rose 2.1 percent in premarket trade to $29.90.
"The market is anticipating a fairly supportive earnings
season for current pricing," said Peter Kenny, managing
director at Knight Equity Markets in Jersey City, New Jersey.
S&P 500 futures SPc1 rose 2.6 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 DJc1 rose 12
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures NDc1 added 2.25 points.
Concern about Chinese moves to cool the economy by
increasing reserve requirements at local banks dented commodity
prices, as copper hit a two-week low and crude oil fell to
around $80 per barrel, threatening to weigh on shares of U.S.
commodity and industrial companies.
The U.S. Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book of
regional economic conditions at 2 p.m. (1900 GMT], and
investors will scour the data for insights into the Fed's
thinking on the economy.
(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)