(Updates prices, adds comment)
* Futures up: Dow 70 pts, S&P 7 pts, Nasdaq 14 pts
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Sept 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to rise at the open on Friday after Scotland’s vote to remain in the United Kingdom removed market uncertainty and as Alibaba’s strong pricing gave support to risk assets.
Stocks could build on record highs set in the previous session by the Dow industrials and S&P 500 in a week when the Federal Reserve also renewed its commitment to low interest rates.
Scotland’s vote to stay in the United Kingdom gave a boost to European stocks while sterling rose against the euro and the U.S. dollar.
“Disarray in the UK would have had a negative effect, further strengthening the dollar and weakening the commodities complex,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.
Regarding Alibaba, Hogan said, “a large, hyped IPO that has gone successfully has a large, positive halo effect on the market.”
S&P 500 e-mini futures were rising 7 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 70 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 14 points.
Alibaba priced its initial public offering at $68 a share, the top end of the expected range, raising $21.8 billion on Thursday. Shares of Yahoo, which is selling part of its Alibaba stake but will remain a top shareholder, were gaining 1.6 percent in the highest volume by far on the Nasdaq.
Oracle shares were falling 2.6 percent premarket after Larry Ellison, co-founder and leader for 37 years, stepped aside as chief executive. He will be replaced by co-CEOs Safra Catz and Mark Hurd, raising questions about a job-sharing arrangement that has had mixed records elsewhere.
Dresser-Rand was gaining 11.9 percent in heavy volume on the NYSE, after a report that Germany’s Siemens plans to offer more than $6.1 billion, or $80 per share, for the U.S. compressor and turbine maker.
The offer would put Siemens in competition with Swiss pump maker Sulzer, which said on Wednesday it was in talks on a potential merger with Dresser-Rand.
The Conference Board’s Leading Economic Index for August is due at 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT). The index posted a 0.9 percent increase in July. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe, Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)