* Futures up: Dow 70 pts, S&P 8 pts, Nasdaq 18 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
Dec 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Tuesday, tracking Asian gains on tentative signs that a slowdown in China was stabilizing.
* Private data showed Chinese factory activity contracted at a slower pace than in October, fuelling hopes the economy may have been bolstered by government support.
* A barrage of data is expected later in the day, including U.S. factory activity data for November at 10 am ET (1400 GMT), which is expected to tick up. The Department of Commerce is likely to report a slight dip in construction spending for October and automakers will report sales figures for November.
* Investors have been keeping an eye on data for clues regarding the health of the U.S. economy that might enable the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates for the first time in nearly a decade.
* The main data this week is the November employment report, that is expected to show that the economy added 200,000 jobs during the month. Analysts say a strong report virtually guarantees a rate rise this month.
* Chicago Fed President Charles Evans is scheduled to speak at an event at 12:45 p.m. ET. Evans is a voting member of this year’s Federal Open Market Committee. Chair Yellen is scheduled to speak on Wednesday and Thursday.
* U.S. stocks slipped on Monday, led by declines in health and consumer shares, as investors braced for policy news from central banks.
* Investors are also awaiting a European Central Bank meeting on Thursday, where the central bank is widely expected to ramp up its trillion-euro bond buying program.
* Joy Global shares were down 4.7 percent at $14.63 in premarket trading.
* Infoblox jumped 16.4 percent to $17.50, a day after the network management services provider’s second-quarter profit and revenue forecast beat expectations.
* Mattress Firm Holding was up 6.4 percent at $52.50, a day after the company agreed to buy HMK Mattress Holdings, the owner of mattress retailer Sleepy‘s, for about $780 million.
Futures snapshot at 7:04 a.m. ET:
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 7.5 points, or 0.36 percent, with 133,623 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 18 points, or 0.39 percent, on volume of 16,323 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were up 70 points, or 0.4 percent, with 16,408 contracts changing hands. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Don Sebastian)