US STOCKS-Futures higher on Greece deal, mega airline merger

* UAL, Continental to merge, form world’s largest airline

* EU, IMF offer $146 billion bailout package to Greece

* Futures up; S&P 5.7 pts, Dow 33 pts, Nasdaq 10.25 pts

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

NEW YORK, May 3 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures rose
on Monday as investors welcomed details of a fiscal aid package
for Greece and focused on a merger that would create the
world’s largest airline.

* European countries agreed to a 110 billion-euro ($146.5
billion) aid package for debt-laden Greece, the biggest ever
financial bailout of a country. But European stocks fell on
concerns that the package may face political obstacles and on
doubts that Greece can implement the tough austerity measures
it has promised in exchange. [ID:nSGE64208W] [ID:nLDE6420OJ]

* UAL Corp (UAUA.O: ), parent of United Airlines, will buy
Continental Airlines Inc (CAL.N: ) for $3.2 billion, in a deal
that would form the world’s largest airline. For details, see
[ID:nN02143069]

* Warren Buffett on Sunday intensified his feisty defense
of a controversial mortgage transaction marketed by Goldman
Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: ), saying the investment bank’s behavior
does not warrant public fury. Buffett also said he is seeing
signs of improvement in the economy, especially in
manufacturing, though he said it will take another year for a
sustainable housing recovery to take hold. [ID:nN02162966]

* Due later Monday are March figures for personal
consumption expenditures, personal income and construction
spending data and ISM manufacturing data for April. The median
Reuters forecast of 32 economists for the ISM’s manufacturing
index is 60.0, up from 59.6 in March. The market will also keep
a close eye on car sales for April.

* Clorox Co (CLX.N: ), Loews Corp (L.N: ) and Anadarko
Petroleum Corp (APC.N: ) are scheduled to report earnings on
Monday.

* Energy shares will be in the spotlight again as the huge
oil slick caused by an underwater leak continued to creep
toward the U.S. Gulf Coast on Monday. The Obama administration
pressed energy giant BP Plc (BP.L: ) to stem the oil gushing from
its ruptured offshore well. [ID:nN03142622]. BP’s U.S.-traded
shares fell about 2 percent in premarket trades.

* China on Sunday raised the proportion of deposits that
lenders must keep in reserve at the central bank, another step
in the country’s campaign to remove excess cash in the economy.
[ID:nTOE64100Q]

* Investors were also digesting news of a failed car
bombing in New York. Investigators combed through security
video and other evidence on Monday in the hunt for suspects and
officials expressed optimism that the culprits will be found.
[ID:nN03102576]

* U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) tumbled on Friday to close out the worst week
since January as news of a criminal probe into Goldman Sachs
unnerved investors already anxious about the prospects for
heavy regulation from Washington. But the three major U.S.
stock indexes have racked up gains for the last three months.

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(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

US STOCKS-Futures higher on Greece deal, mega airline merger