* McKesson to acquire PSS World Medical
* Procter & Gamble climbs after results
* Apple earnings due after the close
* Futures up: Dow 51 pts, S&P 7.7 pts, Nasdaq 17.5 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Oct 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were poised for a
higher open on Thursday, indicating the S&P 500 may rebound from
its worst five-day slide in five months, on optimism the
economies of both the U.S. and China may be recovering.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said
China's factory output should grow faster in the last three
months of 2012 than in the third quarter, raising hopes the
world's second largest economy may avoid a hard landing to its
Data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for
unemployment benefits fell by 23,000 last week to a seasonally
adjusted 369,000, giving a clearer sign that the labor market is
healing after wild fluctuations in claims data earlier in the
Separately, a gauge of planned U.S. business spending was
flat in September, a sign that heightened uncertainty is
weighing on factories, but new orders for long-lasting
manufactured goods increased during the month.
The benchmark S&P index has shed 3.6 percent over the
last five sessions, its worst performance since mid-May, and is
down 3.9 percent from its closing high of Sept. 14, amid weak
earnings outlooks and top-line revenue misses by large
"The selloff has been about earnings, the next couple of
weeks are still going to be about earnings and there is some
concern about revenue - the first thing you have to do is stop
going down so maybe that is what we've done right here today,"
said Frank Lesh, a futures analyst and broker at FuturePath
Trading LLC in Chicago.
"The data is good, it's definitely looking the right way and
any news out of China helps too. They are a concern so any news
that they are looking better is good for us, too."
Procter & Gamble Co rose 2.3 percent to $69.65 in
premarket trading after it reported a quarterly profit and
maintained its key earnings forecast for the year as the world's
largest household products maker cut costs and narrowed its
focus on key markets, products and countries.
Procter's smaller rival Colgate-Palmolive Co reported
improved quarterly profit as the toothpaste and soap maker spent
a bit more on advertising to entice shoppers after raising
Sprint Nextel Corp climbed 1.4 percent to $5.70 in
premarket trading after reporting a wider loss in the third
quarter but promised better-than-expected 2012 adjusted
A total of 56 S&P 500 companies are due to report earnings
on Thursday, according to Thomson Reuters data, including Apple
, Amazon and Eastman Chemical Co.
S&P 500 futures rose 7.7 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 17.5 points.
With results in from 186 of the S&P 500 companies, 59.1
percent have beat analysts' expectations, below the 62 percent
long-term average, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Revenue figures have been more disappointing, with just 38.2
percent of companies exceeding analysts' expectations, while
61.8 percent have fallen short. In a typical quarter, 62 percent
of companies beat estimates.
At 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT), pending home sales for September
is due, which investors will peruse for signs of continued
improvement in the housing market. Analysts surveyed by Reuters
expect a 2.1 percent increase compared with a 2.6 percent drop
in the previous month.
Dunkin Brands Group Inc gained 3 percent to $31.74
in premarket trading after reporting third-quarter profit that
beat Wall Street expectations and boosting its full-year
PSSI World Medical Inc jumped 32.3 percent to
$28.58 in premarket after McKesson Corp said it would
acquire the company for $29 a share, or $1.46 billion.