* NY factory index falls in Nov to weakest since May-NY Fed
* Twitter options begin trading
* Bank shares may be in spotlight after Moody's downgrade
* Futures up: Dow 34 pts, S&P 4.3 pts, Nasdaq 9.5 pts
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, Nov 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose
on Friday, buoyed by reassuring remarks by Federal Reserve chair
nominee Janet Yellen, setting up the Dow and S&P 500 indexes for
fresh record highs.
Wall Street rallied Thursday, with the S&P 500 ending just
10 points away from 1,800, its next level of potential
resistance, after a robust defense of monetary stimulus from
Yellen, who is expected to succeed Ben Bernanke as chairman of
the U.S. Federal Reserve early next year.
New York state's manufacturing sector unexpectedly shrank
this month, but business optimism remained relatively resilient,
a report from the New York Federal Reserve showed on Friday. The
market barely reacted to the data.
Industrial production figures for October will be released
at 9:15 a.m. EST (1415 GMT).
No major S&P 500 companies are due to report earnings.
"The post-Yellen rally seems to be continuing but with the
S&P 500 within the range of 1,800, the market will be a bit
bumpy as we approach that," said Peter Cardillo, chief market
economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
S&P 500 futures rose 4.3 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 rose 34
points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 9.5 points.
Bank shares could be in the spotlight after Moody's
Investors Service cut the long-term debt ratings of Morgan
Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase &
Co and Bank of New York Mellon Corp by one notch
late Thursday, concluding that the government wouldn't bail out
the institutions if they fail.
Just days after Twitter 's trading debut on the New
York Stock Exchange on Nov. 7, options market makers will begin
pricing and trading contracts Friday to buy or sell Twitter
shares at various prices in the future.
Top U.S. hedge fund managers zoned in on the consumer sector
in the third quarter, with investment plays ranging from luxury
auction house Sotheby's to struggling department store
chain J.C. Penney Co.
Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc terminated its offer to
buy Men's Wearhouse Inc, sending Men's Wearhouse shares
down 1.3 percent in premarket trading, although Jos. A. Bank did
not rule out another bid for its larger rival in future.
The Dow and the S&P 500 index ended at new highs on Thursday
after Janet Yellen's comments saying the Fed's accommodative
policies would continue as long as the economy remains fragile.
European shares rose back towards five-year highs on Friday,
buoyed by prospects for a further dose of accommodative central
bank policies that were tipped to keep the equity rally on