June 13, 2011 / 11:40 AM / 7 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures tick higher after six weeks of S&P losses

* Allied World to buy Transatlantic for $3.2 bln

* Futures up: Dow 43 pts, S&P 4.4 pts, Nasdaq 4.25 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]

NEW YORK, June 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Monday after six weeks of declines for the S&P 500 left equities at more attractive levels.

* In a sign that valuations are hitting enticing levels, insurer Allied World Assurance Co Holdings Ltd AWH.N agreed to buy Transatlantic Holdings TRH.N for $3.2 billion in stock. For details, see [ID:nL3E7HD00X]

* In a positive sign for the consumer, U.S. crude prices fell more than $1 to near $98 per barrel. Growing investor concern about an economic slowdown combined with rising output from Saudi Arabia have pressured prices lower. [O/R]

* S&P 500 futures SPc2 rose 4.4 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures DJc2 gained 43 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures NDc2 added 4.25 points.

* Worries about a global economic slowdown continued to hover over equity markets, with some investors expecting the S&P 500 to slip toward its March low near 1,250 before the market can stage a comeback.

* The Fed said Friday it will buy $50 billion of U.S. Treasuries, the final series of government bond purchases that marks the last phase of a $600 billion program launched in November 2010 to help jump-start the economy. [ID:nNYD003821]

* European shares were up 0.3 percent as bargain hunters picked through the debris after six weeks of losses. Concerns over the health of the global economy and the lack of consensus from policymakers on how to tackle Greece’s debt crisis limited gains. [ID:nLDE68615F]

* European policymakers appeared no closer to finalizing an agreement over whether private investors would take part in a restructuring of Greek debt. [ID:nLDE68T0MG]

* Overnight, data showed China’s money growth slowed to a 30-month low in May and banks extended fewer new loans than expected as tighter monetary policy started to bite.

* In Japan, core machinery orders unexpectedly fell, suggesting a bumpy recovery from the earthquake and tsunami as companies delayed capital spending until demand materializes. [ID:nL3E7HD08U] and [ID:nL3E7HA0U7] (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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