August 15, 2016 / 11:32 AM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures up on oil rise, China stimulus hopes

* Futures up: Dow 34 pts, S&P 3.25 pts, Nasdaq 8.75 pts

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Aug 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Monday, tracking global markets, as oil prices rose and on rising speculation that China may unveil a fresh stimulus program to prop up its economy.

* Oil prices were up for the third straight day, rising to their highest in nearly a month, as speculation intensified that oil producers may try to work out ways to support prices in an oversupplied market.

* The Chinese blue-chip index jumped to a seven-month high on growing optimism of additional stimulus following a series of weak economic data.

* Investors are awaiting the minutes of the Federal Reserve’s July policy meeting for clues on when it would raise interest rates. The minutes are due on Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET.

* Robust labor market data and better-than-expected quarterly earnings of U.S. companies could prod the central bank to raise rates sometime this year.

* However, traders remain skeptical of a rate hike as U.S. inflation remains below the Fed’s 2 percent target and central banks worldwide unleash stimulus programs to support their economies.

* The odds of a hike stand at 9 percent for September and rise to about 41 percent for December, according to CME Group’s Fedwatch tool.

* U.S. stocks closed little changed on Friday as weak retail sales numbers dampened the prospects of economic expansion, even as the Nasdaq trudged to a fresh record close.

* Activision Blizzard’s shares rose 3.9 percent to $42.73 in premarket trading after billionaire investor Daniel Loeb’s hedge fund bought 3 million shares of the gaming company. The stock was the top percentage gainer among S&P 500 components.

* Cyberark was down 4.6 percent at $50.50 after Goldman Sachs removed the stock from its “buy” list.

* Mid-America Apartment Communities rose 1.3 percent to $103.50 in light trading after the company said it would acquire Post Properties for about $3.88 billion. Post’s shares were not trading.

* Valeant rose 3.7 percent to $25.83 after Mizuho raised the stock’s rating to “neutral” from “underperform”.

* Sysco was up 6.3 percent ahead of its results due at 8:00 a.m. ET (1200 GMT).

Futures snapshot at 6:57 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 34 points, or 0.18 percent, with 9,777 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.25 points, or 0.15 percent, with 72,433 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 8.75 points, or 0.18 percent, on volume of 9,786 contracts. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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