* Smithfield up after shareholder urges break-up
* AMD shares up after Barron's comment on better outlook
* Futures up: Dow 102 pts, S&P 11 pts, Nasdaq 25 pts
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, June 17 U.S. stock index futures rose
on Monday after major equity indexes on Friday closed their
third negative week in four, with traders focused on this week's
Federal Reserve policy meeting.
While consensus is building among policy-makers that the
time is nearing for the U.S. central bank to scale down its
quantitative easing, or $85 billion-a-month asset purchase
program, divisions remain over when to start the tapering.
Chairman Ben Bernanke said on May 22 during Congressional
testimony that the Fed could reduce the pace of QE in the "next
few meetings," sparking a global bond and stock selloff.
"There's hopes we'll get clarity from the Fed this week,"
said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global
Capital in New York.
"The market is beginning to adjust itself to an eventual
trimming from the Fed towards the beginning of next year," he
said. "I think we're headed for more volatility but the market
Volatility in U.S. equities has spiked, with the average
daily range in the Dow industrials near 191 points since
Bernanke's testimony in May. The average for 2013 before that
was just below 110 points.
S&P 500 futures rose 11 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 102
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 25 points.
Shares of Smithfield Foods rose 1.5 percent in
premarket trading after large shareholder Starboard urged the
company to break up instead of going forward with a proposed
merger with China's Shuanghui International.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc rose 5 percent premarket
after Barron's said prospects are looking better for the No. 2
maker of microprocessors for personal computers.
The economic calendar includes the New York Federal
Reserve's release of its Empire State Manufacturing Survey for
June at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey
expect a reading of 0.00 compared with -1.43 in May.
The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo issues
its June housing market index at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT). Economists
expect a reading of 45, versus 44 in May.