U.S. stock index futures signal higher Wall St open

LONDON Mon Nov 5, 2012 9:07am GMT

LONDON Nov 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wall Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 rising 0.1 to 0.2 percent.

* President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney sprinted to an unpredictable finish in the last 48 hours of a close race for the White House on Sunday, trying to turn out supporters and woo undecided voters in a handful of toss-up states.

* The Institute for Supply Management releases its October non-manufacturing index at 1500 GMT. Economists forecast a reading of 54.5, versus 55.1 in September.

* Drilling contractor Transocean Ltd reported a higher-than-expected adjusted profit for the third quarter as it made more efficient use of the world's largest offshore oil drilling fleet.

* Other companies announcing results includes health insurer Humana and exchange operator IntercontinentalExchange .

* International Lease Finance Corp (ILFC), the aircraft leasing arm of American International Group Inc, has shrugged off threats from a growing number of domestic players in China, its biggest single market, saying it has the "first mover" advantage with more than 200 planes on order.

* Investment bank Goldman Sachs Group Inc has cut the number of employees it lists as partners to help streamline expenses.

* Leading world economies pressed the United States on Sunday to act decisively to avert a rush of spending cuts and tax hikes, warning that the so-called fiscal cliff is the biggest short-term threat to global growth.

* The Conference Board releases its employment trend index for October at 1500 GMT. In the previous report, the index reading was 107.9.

* European stocks fell 0.4 percent in cautious trade on Monday as investors opted for safer havens ahead of the too-close-to-call presidential election in the United States.

* A private survey of China's growing services sector slipped in October, with weaker-than-expected new orders injecting a note of caution after three previous PMI surveys for October showed the world's second-largest economy regaining momentum.

* Greece's government will present a new austerity package to parliament on Monday, facing a week of strikes and protests over proposals which must win deputies' approval if the country is to secure more aid and stave off bankruptcy.

* U.S. stocks ended an unusual storm-shortened trading week with a selloff on Friday, as major indexes erased early gains sparked by a stronger-than-expected payrolls report.

* The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 139.46 points, or 1.05 percent, on Friday to 13,093.16. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 13.39 points, or 0.94 percent, to 1,414.20. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 37.93 points, or 1.26 percent, to close at 2,982.13.