* ISM manufacturing, construction spending data on tap
* Delta among suitors for Virgin Atlantic stake - sources
* Spain makes formal request for EU bank aid
* Dish Network declares special dividend
* Futures up: Dow 57 pts, S&P 6 pts, Nasdaq 19 pts
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Dec 3 The S&P 500 could rise for a
fourth straight day on Monday as U.S. stocks were set to open
higher on upbeat factory data from China, but concerns over
budget dealings in Washington are expected to keep traders
China's economy picked up in November even as a broader
global recovery remains fragile, with factory activity patchy
elsewhere in Asia as demand from the developed world remains
"The good news out of China is encouraging and that's adding
to the risk trade this morning," said Peter Cardillo, chief
market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
Commodities priced in U.S. dollars could rise as the
greenback weakens against the euro, possibly lifting stocks in
the basic materials and energy sectors.
Markets have focused for weeks on negotiations in Washington
over some $600 billion in spending cuts and tax hikes scheduled
to kick in next year that could tip the U.S. economy back into
U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner pushed Republicans
on Sunday to offer specific ideas to cut the deficit and
predicted that they would agree to raise tax rates on the rich
to obtain a year-end deal to avoid the "fiscal cliff."
"Right now for both sides it's all about staying firm and
determined to go to the very end," Cardillo said about the
negotiations. "But we all know the stakes are high and
(Congress) can't be that stupid as to induce another recession."
Included in the dealings are hikes on dividend taxes, and
several U.S. companies have declared special paybacks to
shareholders ahead of possibly higher tax burdens.
Dish Network declared Monday a one-time dividend of
$1 per share. National Penn Bancshares set a quarterly
cash dividend of ten cents per share payable before the end of
S&P 500 futures rose 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 rose 57
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 19 points.
The S&P 500 on Friday closed its fifth positive month in six
and is up 8 percent since the end of May.
Adding to the upbeat market tone, Spain formally requested
the disbursement more than $50 billion of European funds to
recapitalize its crippled banking sector.
Greece said it would spend 10 billion euros ($13 billion) to
buy back bonds in a bid to reduce its ballooning debt and
unfreeze long-delayed aid, setting a price range above market
expectations to ensure sufficient investor interest. The buyback
is central to the efforts of Greece's foreign lenders to put the
near-bankrupt country's debt back on a sustainable footing.
The Institute for Supply Management releases its November
manufacturing index at 10 a.m. (1500 GMT). Economists in a
Reuters survey expect a reading of 51.3 for the main index
versus 51.7 in October.
Also at 10 a.m., the Commerce Department releases October
construction spending data. Economists forecast a rise of 0.5
percent compared with a 0.6 percent rise in September.
Singapore Airlines said it was in talks with
interested parties to sell its 49 percent stake in British
carrier Virgin Atlantic, with sources saying that Delta Air
Lines was among the potential suitors.
Dell shares rose 5.7 percent in premarket trading
after Goldman Sachs upgraded its view on the stock from "sell"