US STOCKS-Futures slightly higher after China data, deals

* Abbott Labs to buy Facet Biotech for $27 per share

* Apollo Management to buy Citi unit-report

* Wholesale inventory, sales data on tap

* Futures up: Dow 13 pts, S&P 0.8 pts, Nasdaq 3.75 pts

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

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, March 10 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures
barely budged on Wednesday after data showed Chinese exports
and imports grew faster than expected and after a slew of new
corporate deals.

* Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N: ) agreed to buy Facet Biotech
Corp (FACT.O: ), which is jointly developing a multiple sclerosis
drug, for $27 a share, topping a failed bid from Biogen Idec
Inc (BIIB.O: ). For details, see [ID:nN09182932]

* Also, private equity firm Apollo Management reached a
deal to buy Citigroup Inc’s (C.N: ) real estate investment
division, Bloomberg reported. [ID:nSGE629062]

* Economists raised their forecast for 2010 U.S. economic
growth in March, but trimmed the forecast for 2011, according
to a survey by Blue Chip Economics Indicators. [ID:nN09253330]

* Meanwhile, Caterpillar Inc’s (CAT.N: ) chief, in a speech
to a business group on Tuesday, offered a rosier forecast — a
3.4 percent increase in U.S. and global gross domestic product
in 2010. [ID:nN09226714]

* S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) rose 0.8 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: ) added 12
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) gained 3.75 points.

* January wholesale inventories and sales data are on tap
for Wednesday, while Brown-Forman Corp (BFb.N: ) is the only S&P
company scheduled to report results.

* The Obama administration is weighing help for U.S.
airlines to meet the costs of modernizing the air traffic
control system, the top transportation official said Tuesday,
as airlines said may charge additional fees and cut costs to
increase profits. [ID:nN09196811] and [ID:nN09234122]

* Japan’s Nikkei average ended flat on Wednesday, while
European stocks were little changed in early trade, as
lingering concerns over the region’s sovereign debt offset
strong trade data from China.

* Chinese exports jumped 45.7 percent in February,
following a 21.0 percent rise in January, while imports surged
44.7 percent after record growth of 85.5 percent in January,
the government said on Wednesday. [ID:nSGE6290A5]

* One year to the day after stocks fell to their worst
close in more than 12 years, major U.S. averages ended slightly
higher Tuesday, as gains in telecommunications and industrials
offset lower materials stocks pressured by falling commodity
prices.

Stock Market Trading

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Futures slightly higher after China data, deals