Wall Street set to open higher as global bond selloff eases

By Reuters

May 15, 2015 09:26 AM EDT

U.S. shares were set to open higher on Friday as a selloff in the global bond market eased after purchases by the European Central Bank, lifting stock index futures.

The S&P 500 .SPX rose 1.08 percent to end at 2,121.1 on Thursday, exceeding its previous all-time closing high of 2,117.69 on April 24, while the Nasdaq Composite .INX had its strongest day since January.

"As we see volatility subside in the bond market and what seems to be an orderly withdrawal from the fixed-income market before a shift in policy, there is less fear among equity market investors," said Andrew Barber, chief market strategist at Eagleview Capital in Delaware.

Barber said ECB President Mario Draghi clearly sent a message at the IMF meeting on Thursday that quantitative easing in Europe is not going to stop any time soon.

Signs that jitters in the bond market were starting to recede also helped prop up European stocks.

U.S. Federal Reserve data, to be released at 9:15 a.m. ET, is expected to show that manufacturing output gained modestly last month.

The University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index, expected at 10 a.m. ET, is expected to show U.S. consumers were slightly more upbeat in the early part of May.

Manufacturing activity growth in New York State accelerated in May after weakening for three consecutive months as the pace of new orders improved from a multi-year low, a survey showed.

Investors have been keeping a close eye on economic data for signs of improvement in the U.S. economy in the second-quarter after growth slowed to a crawl in the previous quarter.

S&P 500 e-mini futures ESc1 were up 2.25 points and their 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 1YMc1 rose 20 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures NQc1 added 10.25 points.

El Pollo Loco Holdings (LOCO.O) shares slumped 12.4 percent to $25.45 in premarket trading after the restaurant chain operator forecast a full-year profit largely below estimates.

King Digital Entertainment (KING.N) fell 7.6 percent to $13.85 as the "Candy Crush Saga" creator said it expects forex rates and a lack of new releases to hurt bookings.

Netflix (NFLX.O) rose 3.3 percent to $606.51 after Bloomberg reported that it was in talks with a company backed by Alibaba's (BABA.N) Jack Ma to enter China.

Avon Products (AVP.N) fell 0.7 percent to $7.02, a day after soaring as much as 20 percent on an apparently bogus takeover offer. Avon said it had received no such offer.

Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR.O) fell 5.9 percent to $97 after Bloomberg reported that the K-cup coffee pod maker would not make available its new cold brewing system in all it is retail outlets until next year.

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