US STOCKS-Commodities lead futures higher, volume seen weak

* Commodities rise on expectations of higher demand

* Volume may be weak again ahead of earnings next week

* Japan market rebounds after quake, Europe also higher

* Futures up: Dow 42 pts, S&P 6.5 pts, Nasdaq 6.75 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates with Democratic leader’s comment on budget talks,
adds Seagate Technology, updates prices)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose
on Friday on higher commodity prices, although volume was
expected to be light until investors get a look at the first
earnings reports.

The commodity gains were driven by expectations of stronger
demand and in some cases threatened supply shortages. Copper
(CMCU3: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 1.9 percent while Brent crude gained 1.5 percent
as attacks on Libyan oil fields continued.

U.S.-listed shares of miner Rio Tinto Plc (RIO.N: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 1.6
percent to $73.58 in premarket trading. For details on oil, see
[ID:nL3E7F80GG]

Trading volume in stocks has been among the lowest of the
year as investors look to quarterly earnings to see how
corporations are performing and whether global headwinds are
offsetting domestic strength. Alcoa Inc (AA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) reports after
the close on Monday, followed by JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research)
and Google Inc (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) next week.

“We’re waiting to see the early results, since there’s a
belief that while earnings will rise this quarter, expectations
might be high,” said John Brady, senior vice president at MF
Global in Chicago. Brady said stocks were inexpensive on a
relative value basis.

In Japan, dollar-denominated Nikkei futures (NKc1: Quote, Profile, Research) advanced
2.7 percent. The country was hit by a strong aftershock on
Thursday following March 11’s devastating earthquake.
[ID:nL3E7F72Y2]

“The impact of the (latest) quake was limited, so it
shouldn’t be a factor in today’s trading,” Brady said.

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 6.5 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 (DJc1: Quote, Profile, Research) added 42
points and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 6.75 points.

U.S. budget negotiators were “very close” to a deal, Steny
Hoyer, the House Democratic whip, told NBC on Friday.
[ID:nN08165749] The White House and Congress faced a midnight
deadline to break a budget deadlock and avoid a government
shutdown. [ID:nN08144565]

Data on February wholesale inventories will be released at
10 a.m. [1400 GMT], which are seen rising 1 percent.

The initial public offering of CVR Partners LP, a unit of
oil refiner CVR Energy Inc (CVI.N: Quote, Profile, Research), raised $307 million on
Thursday, pricing units above the proposed range.
[ID:nN07288280]

Shares of Seagate Technology Plc (STX.O: Quote, Profile, Research) climbed 7.5
percent to $15.79 in premarket trading on Friday, a day after
it reinstated its dividend and said it expects its
third-quarter revenue and margins to come in at the higher end
of its previous guidance. [ID:nL3E7F73QV]

Stocks closed slightly lower on Thursday on concerns about
the impact of Japan’s earthquake, though a drop in initial
jobless claims and some strong retail sales data prevented
further losses.

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)

US STOCKS-Commodities lead futures higher, volume seen weak