US STOCKS-Futures climb, setting up Dow, S&P for fresh records

Last Updated: Fri, Nov 15, 2013 13:50 hrs

* 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 track.

More from Sify: