* S&P 500 coming off biggest weekly decline since June
* Volume seen light on Veterans Day holiday with bond market
* Apple shares up in premarket trading after patent dispute
* Futures up: Dow 36 pts, S&P 4.1 pts, Nasdaq 13 pts
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Nov 12 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures
pointed to a higher open on Monday after last week's steep
losses on upbeat economic data from China over the weekend,
though concerns remained about the growth outlook in the United
States and Europe.
Stocks also should receive a lift from merger news.
Precision Castparts Corp offered to buy Titanium Metals
Corp for $2.9 billion while Leucadia National Corp
agreed to buy investment bank Jefferies Group
for $3.6 billion.
Shares of Titanium surged 43 percent to $16.56 before the
bell while Jefferies climbed 19 percent to $16.94.
Trading volume is expected to be light, with the U.S. bond
market and government offices closed for the Veterans Day
The S&P 500 fell 2.4 percent last week, the worst week for
the index since June, closing below its 200-day moving average
for the first time in five months. That level is a measure of
the market's long-term trend, and staying below it could portend
further losses ahead.
Those losses were partly propelled by concerns over the
fiscal cliff, a combination of government spending cuts and tax
increases set to go into effect early next year unless Congress
acts to change the law before then. Though most consider it
unlikely that no deal will be reached, analysts fear going over
the cliff could push the economy back into recession.
"If the cliff were to occur, it would be very devastating
for the economy, which is why it is hard to think that last week
was much of an over reaction," said Oliver Purshe, president at
Gary Goldberg Financial Services in Suffern, New York, adding
that the odds of going over were "very low."
Data showed over the weekend that China's export growth
climbed to a five-month high above 11 percent, beating
expectations and adding to recent data suggesting the country's
seven straight quarters of slowing economic growth have ended.
"Any bit of positive news from China will swing things
upward here," Pursche said. "There's a little bit of pent-up
desire to bounce back today."
Also overseas, the Greek parliament on Sunday approved an
austerity budget for next year, a necessary step to unblock a
new tranche of credit from the European Union and International
Monetary Fund before the government runs out of cash. Still,
investors remain concerned about whether the EU and IMF will
agree to send the next tranche.
S&P 500 futures rose 4.1 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 added 36
points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 13 points.
Apple Inc rose 0.8 percent to $551.20 in premarket
trading after the company announced a global patent settlement
with HTC Corp, as well as a 10-year licensing
agreement. Apple shares have been under pressure recently.
Homebuilder D.R. Horton Inc reported fourth-quarter
earnings that beat expectations, helped by a jump in orders.
Shares gained 3.2 percent to $21.25 in premarket trading.
According to Thomson Reuters data through Friday, of the 449
companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings, 63.3
percent have topped expectations, but only 38.2 percent of
companies have topped revenue expectations, well below the 62
percent average since 2002.
U.S. stocks rose on Friday, helped by strong consumer
sentiment data, but hardly made a dent in the week's losses as
investors turned their attention from the presidential election
to the coming negotiations over the fiscal cliff.