New York: US stock index futures were slightly higher on Monday, reversing sharp declines in the last session, as solid German data eased concerns about a wobbly European economy and the S&P looked to bounce off a key technical level.
German industrial orders jumped far more than expected in April, adding to signs that Europe’s largest economy was on the path to durable growth.
Traders also pointed to critical support levels for the S&P 500 in the wake of Friday’s sell-off in the absence of US economic and earnings news. The index has tumbled 12.5% since its 23 April high for the year.
On Friday, the S&P 500 fell below 1,070, which was considered a support level for the index and closed just below the intraday low the market reached during the so-called “flash crash” on 6 May.
“It has been a headline-driven market so we are going to have to wait for some headlines for either a move for stability or a continuation of the weakness,” said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lek Securities in New York.
“We got whaled on Friday so we are looking for a little stability. There are very few headlines to do it. We are sitting at support so people may be picking away at things.”
S&P 500 futures rose 1.6 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 1 point, and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 4 points.
Apple Inc shares gained 0.8% to $258.00 in premarket trading ahead of what is widely expected to be the unveiling of its newest iPhone on Monday.
US-listed shares of BP Plc gained 4.1% to $38.70 premarket after the company said it was capturing most of the oil gushing from its gushing Gulf of Mexico well, and that an additional capture system would be ready in mid-June.
Oceaneering International Inc slipped 2.1% to $42 in light premarket trade after the company cut its earnings outlook, citing a US government’s decision to halt deepwater drilling activities in the Gulf of Mexico after the mammoth spill.
In merger news, Spain’s Grifols SA agreed to buy Talecris Biotherapeutics Holdings Corp, which produces plasma-based protein therapies, for $3.4 billion in a move to expand its business in blood products. Talecris jumped 51% to $24.03 premarket trade.
Reliance Communications Ltd and AT&T Inc have talked about the US telecommunications giant taking a significant minority stake in the Indian company, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.