US STOCKS-Futures rise on economy, earnings bets

* S&P 500 could break resistance at the open

* Miners on focus as gold hits record high, silver up

* German industrial orders rise far beyond expectations

* Futures up: Dow 64 pts, S&P 8 pts, Nasdaq 20 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates prices, adds comment, byline)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, April 6 (Reuters) – Futures on the S&P 500 hit
their highest level in more than a month on Wednesday as
investors bet the upcoming earnings season and more merger
activity will continue to lift equities higher.

The S&P 500 struggled for a third day on Tuesday to close
above a key resistance level at 1,333, but futures pointed to a
pop at the open that could bring more buyers on expectations of
a technical breakout.

“We bumped up with resistance and are getting a little bit
of consolidation, but once we get through this earnings season,
we’ll continue to move higher,” said Robert Pavlik, chief
market strategist at Banyan Partners LLC in Palm Beach Gardens,
Florida. “I still think there’s plenty of room to go higher.”

He said the cash war chest held by major corporations will
continue to fuel mergers and acquisitions as well as share
buybacks, supporting further gains in stocks.

Miner shares could see increased interest as gold prices
rallied to record highs against a backdrop of a weaker U.S.
dollar and investor worries over inflation and unrest in North
Africa and the Middle East. Silver touched a fresh 31-year
peak. [ID:nL9E7EL002].

Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold (FCX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) gained 1.8 percent
to $57.64 before the open. Gold for June delivery (GCv1: Quote, Profile, Research)
ralllied to a second consecutive record high at $1,461.70 an
ounce. [ID:nLDE7350OK]

Broadcom Corp (BRCM.O: Quote, Profile, Research) shares gained 1.8 percent to $39.13
in light premarket trading after Oppenheimer raised its rating
on the chipmaker to “outperform” from “perform” and set a price
target of $55. For details see [ID:nL3E7F61DU].

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 8 points and were above fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures (DJc1: Quote, Profile, Research) gained 64
points and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: Quote, Profile, Research) added 20 points.

Purchases of major items sent German industrial orders
soaring above expectations in February, data showed on
Wednesday, in a sign Europe’s largest economy was further
outshining its peers. Orders grew by 2.4 percent on the month,
compared to the Reuters forecast for an increase of 0.6
percent. [ID:nLDE7350XH].

The euro rose to a 14-month high against the U.S. dollar,
ahead of an expected interest rate rise by the European Central
Bank on Thursday. Traders also cited buying by Asian central
banks.

With a U.S. government shutdown looming, congressional
negotiators will meet again on Wednesday and could be called to
the White House for a second meeting to search for a deal on
federal budget cuts. [ID:nN05158193]

On Tuesday, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX: Quote, Profile, Research), Dow
Jones industrial average (.DJI: Quote, Profile, Research) and Nasdaq Composite Index
(.IXIC: Quote, Profile, Research) ended little changed.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

US STOCKS-Futures rise on economy, earnings bets