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Stock Futures Signal a Rebound Ahead of Factory Orders

Stocks in this article: ^DJI ^GSPC ^IXIC BGCP UNH HUM

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to a rebound on Wall Street Tuesday, tracking gains in the European markets ahead of a report that's expected to show an improvement in U.S. factory orders.

Futures for the S&P 500 were rising 5.75 points, or 3.68 points above fair value, at 1,561.75. The S&P is up 9.53% so far this year.

The S&P concluded a strong quarter last Thursday with a climb of 0.4% to 1,569.19, trumping its former, pre-credit-crisis record of 1,565.15 reached on Oct. 9, 2007. This came shortly after the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke its 2007 record high on March 5. The S&P's next milestone is its all-time intraday high of 1,576.09, set on Oct. 11, 2007.

" Clearly, stocks have had an exceptional run to start the year and handily outperformed bonds," Russ Koesterich, BlackRock's global chief investment strategist, said in a weekly investment note late Monday. "We certainly don't expect this pace of gains to continue, but even after the first-quarter rally, stocks still look inexpensive compared to fixed income alternatives, so we would continue to advocate overweight positions in equities."

The Census Bureau is expected to report at 10 a.m. EDT that factory orders rose 2.9% after declining 2% in January.

Futures for the Dow were up 49 points, or 18.15 points above fair value, at 14,538. Futures for the Nasdaq were ahead by 15 points, or 9.28 points above fair value, at 2,803.

BGC Partners (BGCP) shares were soaring 49.09% to $5.74 in premarket trading after Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ) agreed to buy eSpeed from BGC for $750 million in cash.

eSpeed is an electronic service for trading U.S Treasury notes and bonds.

The acquisition is expected to be completed in the middle of 2013.

Health care stocks were gaining after the U.S. government reversed a proposal to reduce a key Medicare payment rate. UnitedHealth (UNH) advanced 4.43% to $61.58 and Humana (HUM) popped 9.36% to $82.04.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was falling 3/32, lifting the yield to 1.846%. The dollar was up 0.02%, according to the U.S. dollar index.

The FTSE in London was rising 0.99% on Tuesday and the DAX in Germany was up 0.7% on less harsh-than-expected bailout terms for Cyprus and a better-than-feared eurozone manufacturing sector report.

May crude oil futures were adding 5 cents to $97.12 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

U.S. automakers, including Ford (F) and General Motors (GM), are scheduled Tuesday to release auto sales for March. Ford shares were rising 0.78% to $13 and GM shares were up 0.72% to $28.

Written by Andrea Tse in New York

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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