US futures up on Ukraine, Russia optimism

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WallStreet1234 Reuters. A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York.

New York - US stock index futures rose on Wednesday, on hopes a resolution would be reached between Ukraine and Russia and ahead of the latest batch of data which could provide insight on the health of the economy.

* Ukraine said its president had agreed with Russia's Vladimir Putin on steps towards a “ceasefire regime” in Kiev's conflict with pro-Russian rebels, but the Kremlin denied any actual truce deal, prompting confusion on the eve of a NATO summit.

However, statements from both sides indicated at least some progress was being made between the two.

* Investors will look for clarity on the health of the economy with the release of July factory orders data at 10:00 a.m. (16:00 SA time).

Expectations call for an 11 percent rise versus the 1.1 percent increase a month earlier.

Automakers will also announce August vehicle sales throughout the session.

* At 2:00 p.m. (20:00 SA time), the Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book of economic activity across the nation.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 6.75 points and fair value - a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract - indicated a higher open.

Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures rose 64 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 12.75 points.

* The S&P 500 was marginally lower on Tuesday to kick off September trading, on the heels of its best monthly performance since February that sent the benchmark index to record highs, as falling crude oil prices dragged energy shares down and offset strong manufacturing data.

* Toll Brothers advanced 1 percent to $36 (R385) in premarket trade after the largest US luxury homebuilder said its quarterly income more than doubled.

* Travel management and expense software maker Concur Technologies is exploring a sale of the company and has approached Oracle and Germany's SAP, Bloomberg reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Concur shares were up 11.9 percent to $113 in light premarket trade.

* European shares rose, with a key index hitting a two-month high, on speculation about a possible ceasefire in eastern Ukraine while upbeat Chinese services activity reports helped lift Asian shares. - Reuters


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