U.S. stocks were poised for a higher open on Tuesday as concerns over Dubai's debt problems eased and solid manufacturing data from China boosted sentiment as investors awaited a host of U.S. economic reports.
Dubai World, the government-owned investment firm, said it will restructure about $26 billion of its estimated $59 billion in debt, reassuring investors the emirate's problems can be contained.
In China, a pair of business surveys showed the economy is ending the year on a strong note, laying the groundwork for solid expansion in 2010.
"Everybody is just kind of taking a little bit of a deep breath that (Dubai) is not what we thought it might be," said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Equity Markets in Jersey City, New Jersey.
"You couple that with enormous strength in Asia and you have a counterbalance to bearish sentiment, you have a counterbalance to fear."
Data due Tuesday includes the Institute for Supply Management's November manufacturing index at 10 a.m. EST <1500 GMT>. Economists surveyed by Reuters expect a reading of 55.0 versus 55.7 in October, but a stronger-than-expected Chicago PMI on Monday has boosted expectations.
Also at 10 a.m., the National Association of Realtors issues October pending home sales. Economists expect a drop of 0.8 percent, compared with a 6.1 percent rise in the previous month. An improvement in the housing market is seen as key to the recovery.
S&P 500 futures rose 8.2 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures climbed 62 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures gained 15.25 points.
In U.S. equities news, Staples Inc (SPLS.O) shares gained 3 percent to $24 in premarket trading after the top office-products retailer reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit as cost cuts offset weak sales.
WellPoint Inc (WLP.N) a big Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurer, provided a full-year 2009 outlook and said it was taking a big gain after closing the sale of its NextRx drug benefit business to Express Scripts Inc (ESRX.O).
General Electric Co (GE.N) and Vivendi SA (VIV.PA) have tentatively agreed to a deal for GE to buy the French company's 20 percent stake in NBC Universal for $5.8 billion, a source said Monday, opening the door for GE's joint venture with Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O).
GE shares rose 1.4 percent to $16.24 premarket, while Comcast added 2.3 percent to $15.