* World economy shows evidence of rebound
* Futures add to gains after U.S. jobless claims
* Abercrombie & Fitch shares tumble after results
* Futures up: Dow 52 pts, S&P 8 pts, Nasdaq 22 pts
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Aug 22 U.S. stock index futures were
set to rise at the open on Thursday after upbeat data from the
world's top economies more than offset lingering uncertainty
over the Federal Reserve's asset purchases stimulus program.
The Dow industrials fell Wednesday for a sixth straight day
and the S&P 500 closed below its 50-day moving average for a
fourth session after minutes from the Fed's July meeting gave
few clues on when and by how much the U.S. central bank will
start reducing its $85 billion a month in bond purchases.
Investors were encouraged, however, after business surveys
showed U.S. manufacturing activity hit a five-month high in
August, growth in the euro zone was better-than-expected and
China's manufacturing sector rebounded, providing evidence that
the world economy is on the mend.
With earnings season winding down, investors are paying more
attention to overseas data, according to Joe Bell, senior equity
analyst at Schaeffer's Investment Research in Cincinnati.
U.S. data showed the number of Americans filing new claims
for unemployment benefits rose last week but held close to a
six-year low and gave a positive signal for hiring during the
"We've also had a decent little pullback and buyers are
coming in," he said. "We'll see if the premarket momentum is
going to extend into the open."
Other data on Thursday's schedule includes July leading
economic indicators at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT).
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 rose 52
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 22 points.
Shares of Hewlett-Packard dropped 7.7 percent in
premarket trading a day after the company reported a decline in
Enterprise Group revenue, the company's second-largest division
and a critical component of Chief Execitove Meg Whitman's plan
to transform the company.
Abercrombie & Fitch shares tumbled 19 percent before
the market's open after the apparel retailer said quarterly
comparable sales fell a larger-than-expected 10 percent.
Sears Holdings, which operates Sears department
stores and the Kmart discount chain, reported a much
bigger-than-expected quarterly loss and its shares fell 8.5
percent in premarket trading.
GameStop, the world's largest retailer of video game
products, posted results that topped Wall Street estimates, and
its shares jumped 9.2 percent.