Wall Street futures point to gains for U.S. stocks

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to modest gains for Wall
Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500 (SPc1: ), Dow Jones
Indfustrials (DJc1: ) and Nasdaq (NDc1: ) indexes all up by around
0.1 percent by 0933 GMT.

* Trading was expected to be subdued, however, ahead of
year-end holidays and following strong gains earlier this month.

* The S&P 500 (.SPX: ) held on to a two-year high on Friday,
having rallied over 5 percent so far in December.

* Some nerves were rattled by possible escalating tensions
in the Korean peninsula after South Korea held live firing
drills in a disputed area despite threats of war from Pyongyang.
[ID:nL3E6NK01M]

* Investors are expected to focus on fourth-quarter
financial results from Adobe (ADBE.O: ), with analysts expecting
the software firm to post earnings per share (EPS) of $0.52,
compared to $0.39 a year ago.

* In company news, Chevron (CVX.N: ) said on Monday it had
suspended production from an oil pipeline in Nigeria’s Delta
state, which was breached on Friday. [ID:nLDE6BJ0BX]

* Genzyme Corp (GENZ.O: ), which is fighting against an $18.5
billion bid from Sanofi-Aventis SA (SASY.PA: ), will on Monday
take another stab at persuading investors that its experimental
multiple sclerosis drug is worth more than Sanofi’s projections.
[ID:nN19134052]

* Food and beverage company Sara Lee Corp (SLE.N: ) has been
in talks to sell itself to Brazilian meat producer JBS
(JBSS3.SA: ), but the pair are at odds over price and it is
unclear if a deal can be reached, a source familiar with the
situation said on Sunday. [ID:nN19146410]

* Google Inc (Read more about Google Stock Analysis) (GOOG.O: ) has asked some manufacturers to delay
the launch of TV sets based on the internet company’s software,
the Wall Street Journal said, citing people briefed on the
company’s plans. [ID:nSGE6BJ03I]

* Web commerce company eBay Inc (EBAY.O: ) said it is to buy
brands4friends, Germany’s largest online shopping club, for
about $200 million (150 million euros) to strengthen its
position in Europe. [ID:nSGE6BJ06I]

* On the macroeconomic front, the Obama administration will
be better positioned to fight the extension of tax cuts for the
wealthiest Americans when they are set to expire in two years,
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Sunday. [ID:nN19172231]

* In European equity markets, the FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: )
rose 0.4 percent in early trade, with energy shares supported by
firmer crude prices (CLc1: ) as the cold weather in Europe and
parts of the U.S. boosted demand expectations for heating fuel.
[.EU]

* The European Central Bank (ECB) expressed “serious
concerns” that Ireland’s bailout package could affect the
institution’s liquidity operations in the euro zone, while the
central bank’s president Jean-Claude Trichet said Dublin needed
to stick “rigorously” to the rescue plan. [ID:nLDE6BI0HC]

(Reporting by Harpreet Bhal; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

Wall Street futures point to gains for U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. )