* China and euro zone manufacturing show improvement
* Initial jobless claims, ISM manufacturing data due
* Procter & Gamble gains after results, outlook
* Futures up: Dow 114 pts, S&P 12 pts, Nasdaq 20.75 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Aug 1 U.S. stock index futures rose on
Thursday, after economic data in Europe and China boosted hopes
for the global economy and kept alive expectations for continued
economic support from global central banks.
China's official PMI for manufacturing rose to 50.3 in July,
above expectations it would fall to 49.9 from 50.1 in June,
suggesting a pick up in activity as growth in new orders
Adding to the optimism, Markit's Eurozone Manufacturing PMI
rose to 50.3 in July from June's 48.8, revised slightly higher
from a preliminary reading of 50.1 and topping the 50 threshold
for growth for the first time since July 2011.
But a rival HSBC report on China's manufacturing was much
more gloomy, falling to 47.7 in July, the weakest reading since
August 2012, from 48.2 in June and tempered growth expectations.
The data pointed to modest global growth and served to keep
intact expectations global central banks will retain policies
designed to stimulate their respective economies.
"After a choppy and erratic session yesterday, failing to
break above 1,700, the market is taking some positive China data
along with leads from Europe to put on an impressive early
morning session," said Andre Bakhos, director of market
analytics at Lek Securities in New York.
In its latest policy statement on Wednesday, the Federal
Reserve gave no hint that a reduction in the pace of its
bond-buying program was imminent, as the economy continues to
recover but is still in need of support.
S&P 500 futures rose 12 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 114
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 20.75 points.
Weekly initial jobless claims numbers are due at 8:30 a.m.
(1230 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of
345,000 new filings, compared with 343,000 in the prior week.
At 8:58 a.m. (1258 GMT), Markit releases its U.S. final
Markit Manufacturing PMI for July. The index read 53.2 in the
flash July report. Later in the session, at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT),
the Institute for Supply Management releases its July
manufacturing index and the Commerce Department releases June
construction spending data.
The Bank of England made no changes at its second policy
meeting Thursday under its new governor, Mark Carney, keeping
interest rates at 0.5 percent and leaving its bond-buying
program on ice.
The European Central Bank also left interest rates at a
record low 0.5 percent, with President Mario Draghi expected to
emphasize rates will stay at record lows for an extended period
at his news conference, which starts at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT).
The benchmark S&P index has traded within 10 points
of the 1,700 level for 10 straight sessions, representing a
technical resistance level which could lead to more gains if
Procter & Gamble Co rose 1.4 percent to $81.40 in
premarket after the world's largest household products maker
posted a quarterly profit that fell less than expected and said
full-year's earnings should rise at least as much as last year.
Yelp Inc jumped 12.4 percent to $46.99 in premarket
trade after the consumer reviews website posted a
smaller-than-expected quarterly loss and forecast third-quarter
revenue above analysts' expectations.
According to Thomson Reuters data through Wednesday morning,
Of the 331 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings
to date for the second quarter, 67.7 percent have reported
earnings above analyst expectations.
As earnings season begins to enter its latter stages, 40
companies in the S&P 500 are expected to report earnings on
Thursday, including Kraft Foods Group Inc after the
J.C. Penney Co climbed 4.5 percent to $15.26 before
the opening bell after the department-store operator said a
media report about commercial lender CIT Group stopping
funding to its suppliers are untrue, as it has been told so
directly by the lender.