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Stock futures higher, building on recent gains

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[November 24, 2014]  By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday, indicating the market's recent strength would continue during a week that's expected to see light action ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

* Equities closed a fifth straight week of advances Friday, with the Dow and S&P 500 ending at closing records on the back of accommodative action from central banks in China and Europe.

* Policy in China, the world's No. 2 economy, could spur more market gains. Sources told Reuters the country's leadership and central bank were ready to cut interest rates again and loosen lending restrictions on concern falling prices could trigger a surge in debt defaults, business failures and job losses.

* The S&P 500 has appreciated 13.3 percent since an intraday low hit on Oct. 15, and the gains since then have been broad, with all but 23 S&P 500 components higher. The speed of the rally has worried some market participants, and volatility may pick up this week with traders out for the holiday. Markets will close for Thanksgiving on Thursday and close early Friday.

* In company news, RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd agreed to buy Platinum Underwriters Holdings Ltd for $1.9 billion. BioMarin Pharmaceuticals Inc said it would buy Dutch drug developer Prosensa Holding NV for about $840 million including milestone payments. Prosena jumped 53 percent to $17.50 in premarket trading.

* Trina Solar Ltd reported third-quarter earnings that grew 16 percent on strong demand in Japan and China. Shares were flat at $10.93 before the bell.

* Intel Corp rose 0.9 percent to $35.91 in premarket trading. In its Nov. 24 edition, Barron's wrote that the stock could rise more than 30 percent over the next two years.

Futures snapshot at 6:47 a.m. EST (1147 GMT):

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.75 points, or 0.18 percent, with 89,703 contracts changing hands.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis  were up 10.25 points, or 0.24 percent, in volume of 12,978 contracts.

* Dow e-minis were up 25 points, or 0.14 percent, with 11,782 contracts changing hands.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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