NEW YORK, March 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose
on Wednesday ahead of data on the labor market and looked set to
extend recent gains after the Dow set a new record a day
* Signs of a strengthening U.S. economy, continued support
from the Federal Reserve, and fairly attractive valuations
compared with other assets have helped U.S. equities rally this
* On Tuesday, the Dow ended at 14,253.77, breaking through
October 2007's record close of 14,164.53. For the year, the Dow
is up more than 8 percent.
* Overnight in Europe, stock markets rose to their highest
since the 2008 financial crisis. The European Central Bank, the
Bank of England and the Bank of Japan are all expected to stick
to ultra-easy monetary policy at meetings this week.
* U.S. data due at 8:15 a.m. ET (1315 GMT) is expected to
show the private sector added 170,000 jobs last month. Investors
will also get a look at factory orders at 10:00 a.m. ET, which
are expected to have pulled back in January.
* Later in the afternoon, the Fed will release its Beige
Book of economic conditions.
* S&P 500 futures rose 5.6 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 gained 51
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 9.5 points.
* EU antitrust regulators fined Microsoft 561
million euros ($731 million) for breaking a promise to offer
European consumers a choice of web browser.
* Smith & Wesson Holding Corp posted its biggest
quarterly revenue and raised its full-year sales outlook for the
third time as buyers stocked up on firearms before tighter gun
control laws come into force.