Stock Futures Rise on China Data as Apple Prepares Launch

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher opening on Tuesday as China overnight extended a trend of stronger economic data, and investors anticipate the launch of Apple's ( AAPL) newest iPhone.

Futures for the S&P 500 were climbing 0.67%, to 1,680.25.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were tacking on 0.62%, to 15,129. Nasdaq futures were adding 0.66% to 3,186.

Japanese and Chinese stocks jumped overnight as Japan's Nikkei average surged 1.53% to 14,423 and Hong Kong's Hang Seng climbed 0.99% to 22,977. The pop came amid a larger-than-expected annual rise in China's industrial production for August, which increased 10.4%, up from the prior month's reading of 9.7% and above economists' forecasts. Chinese retail sales in August rose 13.4% year over year, besting the previous reading of 13.2%, and nudging past analysts' predictions.

Apple is expected Tuesday at 1 p.m. EDT to unveil its new iPhone at an event in Cupertino, Calif. Reports have suggested the phone will be an upgrade from the iPhone 5, which would be dubbed iPhone 5S. The company also could release a less expensive version of the iPhone, which would be called the 5C. Shares were rising 0.46% in premarket trading.

On the U.S. economic calendar, the Small Business Optimism Index for August reached 94, which was little changed from July's 94.1 reading, according to the National Federation of Independent Business.

The ICSC-Goldman store sales index rose 1.5% in the week ended Sept. 7. The report showed a large pop from the prior week's 0.6% decline. The Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey and the latest Redbook are due later in the trading day.

In company news, Bank of America ( BAC) is eliminating 2,100 jobs and closing 16 offices by Oct. 31 as surging interest rates are said to be hurting demand for mortgages, Bloomberg reported, citing two people with direct knowledge of the plan.

Microsoft ( MSFT) could be headed toward hiring a turnaround specialist as its next chief executive. At least three of the company's top 20 investors have asked that the board consider Ford ( F) CEO Alan Mulally and Computer Sciences ( CSC) CEO Mike Lawrie for the job, several sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Verizon ( VZ) is expected to raise $20 billion or more on Wednesday in what would be its largest debt sale, The Wall Street Journal reported.

European markets were surging on Tuesday. The FTSE 100 in London gaining 0.97%, and the DAX in Frankfurt was up 2%.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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