US STOCKS-Futures higher as commodity prices rise

* Commodities rise on hope expansion will lift demand

* Japan rebounds after earthquake, Europe also higher

* W. House, Congress facing midnight deadline on budget

* Futures up: Dow 40 pts, S&P 5.4 pts, Nasdaq 6.25 pts

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

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose
on Friday, led by energy and material stocks, as optimism about
increased economic demand pushed commodity prices higher.

* Copper prices (CMCU3: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 1.8 percent. Brent crude
prices rose 1.5 percent, as attacks on Libyan oil fields raised
the prospect of long-term supply cuts. U.S.-listed shares of
miner Rio Tinto Plc (RIO.N: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 1.5 percent to $73.48 in
premarket trading. For details on oil, see [ID:nL3E7F80GG]

* In Japan, dollar-denominated Nikkei futures (NKc1: Quote, Profile, Research)
advanced 2.7 percent. The country was hit by another large
earthquake on Thursday, though the aftershock didn’t cause a
tsunami or any damage at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant,
which was crippled in the March 11 quake. [ID:nL3E7F72Y2]

* Thursday’s earthquake sent U.S. equities lower on renewed
concerns about the country’s nuclear power crisis, though the
markets pared losses on positive domestic data.

* European stocks resumed a rally as the European Central
Bank’s decision on Thursday to raise interest rates helped fuel
optimism about the health of the euro zone economy.

* S&P 500 futures (SPc1: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 5.4 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 40
points and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 6.25 points.

* The White House and Congress faced a midnight deadline to
break a U.S. budget deadlock and avoid a government shutdown.
President Barack Obama and congressional leaders failed to
reach a deal in late-night talks on Thursday. [ID:nN08144565]

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

* There are no S&P 500 companies scheduled to report
quarterly results on Friday. On Monday earnings season begins
in earnest, with Alcoa Inc (AA.N: Quote, Profile, Research), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote, Profile, Research)
and Google Inc (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) among the stocks on tap to report next
week.

* 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.

* 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.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

US STOCKS-Futures higher as commodity prices rise