US index futures rise on global growth signs

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London - US stock-index futures rose, indicating equities will rebound from a two-day drop, amid positive signs for global growth, as investors await Friday’s key payrolls data for indications of the health of the US economy.

S&P 500 Index contracts expiring in September climbed 0.2% to 2 173.25 at 6:45 a.m. in New York. The equity gauge slipped 0.2% yesterday, wiping out August’s lacklustre gains, as a slide in crude oil dragged energy producers lower.

Still, it is within 0.9% of its August 15 all-time record. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 37 points, to 18 432 today.

"Unless something comes out to dramatically throw things off track, I think sideways with a little bit of positive energy seems to be where things are going" said Ben Kumar, investment manager at Seven Investment Management in London. His firm manages £10bn.

"Every day that goes by that China doesn’t blow up is a neutral day and every day it looks a little bit better is a good day. If you’re in the market, you’re probably happy just to sit here and wait."

Better-than-expected manufacturing data from China supported global stocks today. An official factory gauge for the nation rose last month to the highest level in almost two years, suggesting the economy’s stabilization remains on course.

Investors will also look to data on jobless claims and manufacturing for indications of how sound the US recovery is before Friday’s non-farm payroll report, which could influence the pace of the Federal Reserve’s monetary tightening.

Odds of an increase in borrowing costs this month stand at 36%, from 18% at the start of August, according to Fed fund futures tracked by Bloomberg. The chance of a hike in December is 60%.

Among stocks moving in early New York trading, Wynn Resorts advanced 3.6% after better-than-estimated data showed Macau - where the US company generates most of its revenue - reversed its 26-month slump in gaming revenue last month.  

Salesforce.com fell 6.9% after forecasting fiscal third-quarter revenue that may fall short of estimates.

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