Stock Futures Higher as Japan Sees Growth

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open on Monday after a better-than-expected revision to Japan's second-quarter gross domestic product suggested the world's third-largest economy is growing faster than forecast.

Futures for the S&P 500 were climbing 0.21%, to 1,657.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were tacking on 0.19%, to 14,938. Nasdaq futures were adding 0.43% to 3,143.

Japanese stocks surged after annualized GDP increased 3.8% from the prior estimate of 2.6%. The Nikkei average added 2.48% to 14,205.

"Moreover, Tokyo wins bid to host 2020 Summer Olympics. These two latter factors explain the increase of Nikkei," NATIXIS wrote in a note to clients on Monday morning.

The U.S. economic calendar is light on Monday as traders will await a speech from San Francisco Fed President John Williams at 11 a.m. EDT, and a July consumer credit report at 3 p.m. ET.

Predictions about whether the Federal Reserve will decide to scale back its economic stimulus package at its next policy-making meeting later this month is also expected to weigh on U.S. stocks this week. Many analysts have said the central bank's monetary stimulus has helped boost stocks from a financial crisis bottom in March 2009 to record highs achieved earlier this summer.

Investors continued to monitor developments in Syria as Congress is expected to decide this week whether to approve military action against the country after Secretary of State John Kerry announced that Syria had used chemical weapons in a suburb of Damascus last month. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with PBS' Charlie Rose that he had nothing to do with the attack and denied any knowledge that there was one.

In company news, Michael Dell is expected to win shareholder backing for his $24.8 billion buyout of the PC company he started, according to a Financial Times report. A win would give Dell ( DELL) control to Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners, the private-equity firm that has supported his offer. The report, citing people close to the buyout, said the vote will occur at a shareholder meeting on Thursday.

Time Warner ( TWX) plans to move its retired workers from its health coverage and give them money to purchase plans on private exchanges at the start of 2014. The company's spokesperson confirmed the decision to the Associated Press.

Stocks closed flat on Friday after the Labor Department reported that the United States added 169,000 jobs in August. Economists had anticipated 180,000 new jobs. Equity markets are closely tracking labor reports as the Fed has said it would tie its decision to scale back quantitative easing on the strength of the job market.

Asian markets more generally closed higher overnight. as Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.57% to 22,751. European markets were lower Monday with the FTSE 100 in London down 0.4%, and the DAX in Frankfurt was off 0.04%.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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