* Obama accepts Summers withdrawal from Fed chair
* Major U.S. stock indexes set to jump about 1 percent at
* Futures up: S&P 17.8 pts; Dow 167 pts; Nasdaq 35.3 pts
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Sept 16 U.S. stock index futures
soared on Monday as investor bet that the exit of Lawrence
Summers as a candidate for chairman of the Federal Reserve could
mean a slower scaling back of monetary stimulus by the U.S.
News of Summers' surprise decision on Sunday afternoon came
before the U.S. central bank meets on Tuesday and Wednesday to
decide when and by how much to scale back its asset purchases
from the current pace of $85 billion a month.
S&P 500 futures rose 17.8 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 167
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 35.3 points.
Of the two perceived leading candidates for the Fed
chairmanship, Summers was widely regarded as more eager to taper
the Fed's $85 million a month bond-buying program. Janet Yellen,
the Fed's current vice chair and the other candidate seen as a
leading contender, has been more widely perceived by investors
as favoring a more gradual easing of stimulus.
"With (Timothy) Geithner showing no signs to fill Summers'
post, it seems likely that President Obama will choose Yellen,
which is good in terms of the prospects of the Fed staying on
hold for some time," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist
at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
"Of course, there are always chances that the Fed may begin
to announce the trimming on Wednesday, but that's already been
baked in the market."
The gains in futures come after the Dow Jones industrial
average on Friday registered its best weekly gain since
January though trading was subdued ahead of the Federal
Reserve's expected reduction of stimulus measures next week.
In reaction to the withdrawal of Summers, the U.S. dollar
slipped to a near four-week low against a basket of currencies.
Further whetting risk appetite were signs of progress in
Syria following a Russian-brokered deal aimed at averting U.S.
In economic news, the Empire State index is due at 8:30 a.m.
ET (1230 GMT), and industrial production and capacity
utilization data is set for 9:15 a.m ET (1315 GMT).
In company news, Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal
says he will not sell any of his shares in microblogging site
Twitter Inc when it goes public, and expects the firm's IPO to
hit the market later this year or in early 2014.
A handful of potential bidders, including private equity
firms, are lining up to look at BlackBerry Ltd ,
but initial indications suggest that interest is tepid and
buyers are eyeing parts of the Canadian smartphone maker rather
than the whole company, several sources familiar with the