Stock Futures Advance Ahead of Manufacturing Report


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to a higher open on Wall Street Monday ahead of a U.S. manufacturing report, and as investors awaited the latest Federal Reserve minutes, a rates announcement from the European Central Bank and nonfarm payrolls numbers in the latter part of the week.

In addition, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at 12:30 p.m. EDT and could offer additional insight on the central bank's latest round of quantitative easing.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were gaining 70 points, or 67.87 points above fair value, at 13,425. Futures for the S&P 500 were up more than 6 points, or 6.33 points above fair value, at 1441. Futures for the Nasdaq were rising 16 points, or 16.41 points above fair value, at 2809.

The major U.S. equity averages fell Friday to finish the third quarter on a down note, but gained ground overall during the period with the help of the recent spate of central bank actions.

"It will be a close call on whether earnings remain positive for a 13th consecutive quarter," said Douglas Cote, chief market strategist with ING Investment Management.

Earnings season kicks off on Oct. 9.

"The odds are stacked against it owing to a pronounced slowdown in manufacturing driven by a China hard landing," said Cote. "The coordinated global monetary easing from the Fed, ECB, Japan and now China may have shifted growth forward enough to stem the tide on earnings."

At 10 a.m. EDT, the Institute for Supply Management is expected by economists to say that its manufacturing index rose to 49.7 from 49.6 in August, remaining in contraction for the fourth straight month.

The Census Bureau is expected to say at 10 a.m. Monday that construction spending rose 0.4% in August after declining 0.9% in July.

China's September manufacturing purchasing managers' index came in with a read of 49.8 versus 49.2 in August.

Meanwhile, the final print on a September PMI report for the eurozone manufacturing sector was revised to 46.1 versus the prior estimate of 46.

The FTSE 100 in London was rising 0.94% and the DAX in Germany was adding 1.21%. The Nikkei Average in Japan finished down 0.83% on Monday. Hong Kong's market was closed for a public holiday.

November crude oil futures were down 20 cents to $91.99 a barrel. December gold futures were down 80 cents at $1,773.10 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was rising 2/32, lowering the yield to 1.631%. The greenback was slipping 0.22%, according to the dollar index.

In corporate news, Nokia ( NOK) on Monday plans to announce a deal with Oracle ( ORCL) that will give Oracle customers access to Nokia's mapping and location services, according to a report.

American depositary receipts of Nokia were rising more than 1% in premarket trading.

Berkshire Hathaway's ( BRK.A) MidAmerican Energy subsidiary agreed to buy two wind projects under construction about 120 miles north of Los Angeles from wind developer Terra-Gen Power.

The two projects total 300 megawatts of peak electric capacity.

Cal-Maine Foods ( CALM) posted first-quarter earnings of 39 cents a share, up from 13 cents a share the same time last year as revenue increased 12% to $272.9 million, reflecting higher average market prices for shell eggs.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 40 cents a share on revenue of $282 million.

Shares were up more than 1%.

Ferrellgas Partners ( FGP) reported a fourth-quarter loss of 45 cents a share on revenue of $341.8 million amid sharply lower wholesale propane costs; analysts forecast a loss of 38 cents a share on revenue of $420 million.


--Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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

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