* Alcoa reports earnings after the market's close
* Proxy firm recommends Michael Dell's buyout offer
* Goldman Sachs sees year-end S&P at 1,750
* Futures up: Dow 60 pts, S&P 8 pts, Nasdaq 17 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, July 8 U.S. stock index futures rose
on Monday, putting the S&P 500 on track for its third straight
advance after Friday's stronger-than-expected payrolls report
and before the start of quarterly earnings reports.
The benchmark S&P index rose 1 percent on Friday after
government data showed robust jobs growth in June. But volume
was light and action volatile because many traders were still
away from their desks after Thursday's Independence Day holiday.
"With the majority of Wall Street on an extended weekend, it
was relatively easy to push the market in a given direction. A
more definitive look into the mindset of investors is likely now
that the long weekend is over," said Andre Bakhos, director of
market analytics at Lek Securities in New York.
Dow component Alcoa Inc kicks off the earnings season
after the market's close. The aluminum company is expected to
report earnings of 6 cents per share on revenue of $5.83
Goldman Sachs analyst Davis Kostin said in a note to clients
that rising earnings, coupled with stable margins, should lift
the S&P 500 by 8 percent to the firm's year-end target of 1,750.
S&P 500 futures rose 8 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 gained 60
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 17 points.
Expectations call for S&P 500 earnings growth to rise 2.9
percent in the second quarter from a year ago, while quarterly
revenue is forecast to increase 1.6 percent from a year ago,
according to Thomson Reuters data.
"A good earnings season could result in a fresh theme
emerging as the market has been subject to interpretation of
possible Federal Reserve action," said Bakhos.
Later in the week, earnings are expected from JPMorgan Chase
& Co and Wells Fargo & Co.
Dell Inc climbed 2.8 percent to $13.40 in premarket
trading after investment advisory firm ISS has recommended
shareholders vote for Chief Executive Michael Dell's $24.4
billion offer for the PC maker.
Vivendi is exploring alternative moves to extract
cash from its Activision Blizzard unit after failing to
sell part of its 61 percent stake in the U.S. video games
business, the Financial Times reported on its website on Sunday.
An activist shareholder who has been battling Alere Inc's
management said investors could more than double the
value of their stock if they backed a plan for the health
diagnostics and services provider to offload assets.
European shares rebounded, with a late recovery on Wall
Street on Friday on expectations the economy could withstand the
Fed's scaling back monetary stimulus later this year, prompting
investors to return to the market.
However, Asian shares tumbled as the strong U.S. jobs data
led investors to focus more on the prospect of receding monetary
stimulus, sending the dollar to a three-year high against a
basket of major currencies.