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

LONDON Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:27am GMT

LONDON Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wall Street on Thursday on bargain hunting, following losses in the previous session on concerns about the "fiscal cliff".

* Futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 were up 0.1 to 0.3 percent, a day after U.S. stocks fell 1.3 to 1.5 percent.

* Australia's GrainCorp knocked back a $2.8 billion takeover offer from Archer Daniel Midland Co on Thursday, saying the bid undervalued the grains handler after a bumper harvest delivered a record annual net profit.

* Labor Department releases at 1330 GMT first-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended Nov. 10. Economists forecast a total of 375,000 new filings, compared with 355,000 in the prior week.

* Major companies announcing results on Thursday include Wal-Mart Stores, Dell and Applied Materials .

* New York Federal Reserve releases its Empire State Manufacturing Survey for November at 1330 GMT. Economists expect a reading of -6.70, compared with -6.16 in October.

* Honeywell International Inc and Rockwell Collins Inc are expected to win major contracts to supply systems to Boeing Co for its updated 737 Max jetliner, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing two people familiar with the decisions.

* The Labor Department releases the October Consumer Price Index at 1330 GMT. Economists expect a 0.1 percent rise, compared with a 0.6 percent gain in September.

* Labor leaders at the South Korean unit of General Motors are ratcheting up pressure on GM to reverse course and build its next-generation Chevrolet Cruze model in the country, over fears GM's plans to build it elsewhere will cost Korean jobs.

* Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank releases November business activity survey at 1500 GMT. Economists forecast a reading of 2.0, versus 5.7 in October.

* U.S. federal regulators temporarily banned JPMorgan Chase & Co's energy trading arm from a segment of the domestic power market, the first time such a penalty has been imposed for making factual misrepresentations during an investigation into market manipulation.

* Diamond Foods shares were down 8.5 percent after the bell on Wednesday following the release of its results.

* China's ruling Communist Party unveiled an older, conservative new leadership line-up on Thursday that appears unlikely to take the drastic action needed to tackle pressing issues like social unrest, environmental degradation and corruption.

* European equities fell 0.4 percent on Thursday as the rising threat to global growth from the U.S. and Europe prompted investors to reduce their exposure to risky assets.

* U.S. stocks slid on Wednesday with declines accelerating after President Barack Obama set up a drawn-out fight over the fiscal cliff when he stuck to his pledge to raise taxes on the wealthy, and as violence increased in the Middle East.

* Congress has about seven weeks to craft a solution to deal with the year-end expiration of Bush-era tax cuts and the launch of automatic spending cuts. If left unchecked, these would suck about $600 billion out of the economy next year and lead to a new recession, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

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