US STOCKS-Futures edge up on earnings hopes

* Alcoa unofficially kicks off earnings season

* Strong quake in Japan rattles investors

* China posts Q1 trade deficit in a sign of rebalancing

* Futures up: S&P 3.6 pts, Dow 34 pts, Nasdaq 9.50 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]

NEW YORK, April 11 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures
edged up on Monday as hopes for a strong earnings season offset
some concerns about another earthquake in Japan.

* Aluminum maker Alcoa (AA.N: Quote, Profile, Research) will unofficially kick off
the U.S. earnings season on Monday. The company is expected to
report quarterly earnings of 27 cents per share on revenue of
$6.07 billion, according to Thomson Reuters estimates.
Investors will be closely eyeing whether companies trim 2011
guidance due to concerns about inflation.

* Another strong aftershock struck northeast Japan on
Monday and an advisory warned of a possible tsunami for the
coast. [ID:nL3E7FA058]

* Resource-related stocks will be in focus as copper prices
(CMCU3: Quote, Profile, Research) advanced on a weaker dollar and encouraging China trade
data. Gold (XAU=: Quote, Profile, Research) hit a record high, while silver (XAG=: Quote, Profile, Research)
climbed to its highest in more than three decades.

* China recorded a rare trade deficit in the first quarter
of the year due to domestic economic strength and rising global
commodity prices, the customs administration said on Sunday.
[ID:nLDE73A03X]

* NYSE Euronext (NYX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said it would stick to a deal with
Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research), snubbing a rival U.S. offer and
thereby decreasing the chances of a bidding war. On Sunday,
NYSE Euronext’s board of directors unanimously rejected the
rival offer from Nasdaq OMX Group (NDAQ.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and
IntercontinentalExchange (ICE.N: Quote, Profile, Research), saying it was too risky and
counter to the Big Board’s vision. [ID:nN10204369]

* U.S. President Barack Obama will lay out his approach for
long-term deficit reduction later this week, his senior adviser
David Plouffe said on Sunday. Obama will look at the Medicare
and Medicaid government healthcare programs for the elderly and
the poor to “see what kind of savings” are possible, Plouffe
told NBC’s “Meet the Press,” without giving details.
[ID:nN10197400]

* S&P 500 futures (SPc1: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 3.6 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 34
points and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 9.50 points.

* Brent crude (LCOc1: Quote, Profile, Research) fell below $126 a barrel, while U.S.
crude futures slipped after touching a 2-1/2-year high as the
African Union said Muammar Gaddafi had accepted a road map to
end the civil war in Libya. [ID:nL3E7FB0Z5]

* The group said Gaddafi has accepted an immediate
ceasefire and added that the issue of his stepping down had
also been discussed. Rebels have said they will accept nothing
less than an end to Gaddafi’s four decades in power, but Libyan
officials say he will not quit. [ID:nLDE73A03S]

* U.S. stocks fell late on Friday as a spike in oil prices
revived worries that inflation would derail the recovery,
jolting a market that had been treading water ahead of
corporate earnings.
(Reporting by Angela Moon, Editing by Kenneth Barry)

US STOCKS-Futures edge up on earnings hopes