Wall St futures point to higher open for Wall Street

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open for Wall
Street on Wednesday, as upbeat factory production data from
China helped reinforce confidence about the economic recovery.

* By 0954 GMT, futures for the S&P 500 (SPc1: ), Nasdaq
futures (NDc1: ) and Dow Jones futures (DJc1: ) were up 0.7 to 0.8
percent, on track to rebound from falls in the previous session.

* China posted better-than-expected factory production data
in November, with the official Chinese purchasing managers’
index (PMI) rising to a seven-month high of 55.2.
[ID:nTOE6B004C]

* Adding to the upbeat view on the recovery, factory
production in India also expanded in November at its fastest
pace in six months, while euro zone manufacturing grew by its
quickest rate in four months. [ID:nSLAUME6JH]

* The upbeat data sets a positive tone ahead of the release
of U.S. ISM manufacturing numbers, due at 1500 GMT. Other data
likely to highlight the health of the economy include the ADP
private payrolls figures at 1315 GMT.

* Gains, however, could be capped by lingering concerns over
the euro zone’s debt troubles, with investors awaiting the next
move by policymakers to contain the crisis.

* Standard & Poor’s warned it could cut Portugal’s credit
ratings within the next three months if the country’s growth
prospects weaken further or if private creditors become
subordinated to public creditors in a possible financial aid
program. [ID:nN30292510].

* In company news, Airbus (EAD.PA: ) plans to upgrade its
best-selling A320 medium-haul jets from 2016 with new engines.
Airbus and U.S. rival Boeing (BA.N: ) had, until now, resisted
changing winning designs that are the backbone of global airline
business. [ID:nLDE6B008X]

* Oil-pipes company Wellstream (WSML.L: ) has entered into
formal talks with General Electric (GE.N: ) and National Oilwell
Varco (NOV.N: ) over a potential 755 million pound-plus deal, The
Daily Telegraph reported. [ID:nLDE6B000P]

* Bank of New York Mellon’s (BK.N: ) wealth management arm is
in advanced takeover talks with a number of U.S. and global
firms, most of which manage at least $1 billion in assets, the
head of the unit said on Tuesday. [ID:nN30290615]

* State Street Corp (STT.N: ) said on Tuesday it plans to cut
about 1,400 jobs, or 5 percent of its workforce, by the end of
2011, the latest cost-saving step by the financial company.
[ID:nN3027129]

* U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned on
Tuesday that a long period of high unemployment could exact a
steep social cost, as he and other Fed officials defended the
central bank against criticism of its easy money policy.
[ID:nN30134200]

* In European equity markets, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: )
rose 0.9 percent in early trade, with banks and mining stocks
among the biggest gainers. [.EU]
(Reporting by Harpreet Bhal; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)

Wall St futures point to higher open for Wall Street