LONDON, March 6 U.S. stock index futures pointed
to fresh gains on Wall Street on Wednesday, after the previous
session's stellar run which saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average
scale record highs.
Futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq
100 were all up around 0.4 percent by 0930 GMT.
* Investors will look to the February ADP private sector
employment report at 1315 GMT for clues on the likely outcome of
Friday's keenly watched non-farm payrolls report.
* The macro calendar also features January durable goods and
factory orders figures at 1500 GMT, the Federal Reserve's Beige
Book of economic conditions at 1900 GMT and a speech by
Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser.
* The results schedule is relatively light, with the
earnings season almost over - some 92 percent of S&P 500
companies have already reported 2012 results, on average beating
earnings expectations by 0.7 percent, according to Thomson
Reuters Starmine data.
* Retailer PetSmart is among the few firms
reporting on Wednesday.
* European Union anti-trust regulators are set to hit
Microsoft with a hefty fine on Wednesday for breaking a
promise to offer consumers using its Windows system a choice of
rival Internet browsers, people familiar with the case said.
* Smith & Wesson Holding Corp raised its full-year
sales outlook for the third time as buyers stock up on firearms
before tighter gun control laws come into force. However, the
company said on it was unable to meet demand despite operating
its plant at full capacity for the last four quarters. Shares
turned lower in after hours trade following the company's
* Veriforne shares fell after the bell in reaction
to quarterly earnings and 2013 guidance.
* Top U.S. railroad BNSF Railway Co, one of the
largest users of diesel fuel in the United States, plans to test
using natural gas to power its locomotives this year, the Wall
Street Journal reported.
* News Corp's education division, Amplify, has
introduced the first tablet computer built specifically for the
classroom, in a bid to capture a slice of the billions of
dollars spent in U.S. public schools.
* The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 and Japan's
Nikkei share average both scaled 4-1/2 year highs on
Wednesday, taking cues from the strong Wall Street performance.
* The Dow Jones industrial average shot up 125.95
points, or 0.89 percent, to close at 14,253.77. The Standard &
Poor's 500 Index gained 14.59 points, or 0.96 percent, to
1,539.79. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 42.10
points, or 1.32 percent, to 3,224.13.