US STOCKS-Futures higher as oil surges for second day

viernes 22 de enero de 2016 08:32 GYT

* Futures up: Dow 204 pts, S&P 26.25 pts, Nasdaq 72.50 pts

By Abhiram Nandakumar

Jan 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Friday, helped by a cold wave in the United States and Europe that boosted oil prices.

* European Central Bank President Mario Draghi's comments on Thursday suggesting that the bank could ease its monetary policy in its meeting in March also encouraged investors.

* Crude prices, under pressure from a global glut, were up 5 percent as the cold wave boosted short-term demand and traders cashed in their short positions.

* Oil prices rebounded on Thursday, helping to push U.S. stocks higher. The Nasdaq closed in positive territory for only the third day this year, but only by 0.01 percent.

* However, concerns about crude over supply and a tepid demand outlook beyond the winter remain. Rating agency Moody's put 120 energy firms across the world on review for downgrades.

* The U.S. stock market has failed to sustain any rallies this year as risk-averse investors search for signs of stability. The S&P 500 is down 8.6 percent in 2016, having closed higher on only six of the 13 sessions.

* All eyes are also on the U.S. Federal Reserve, with expectations rife of the central bank slowing the pace of further rate hikes as it accounts for a weak global economy and inflation remains well below its 2 percent target.   Continuación...