U.S. stock futures kick off new year on a high as oil surges

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[January 03, 2017]  By Yashaswini Swamynathan

(Reuters) -
A jump in oil prices and upbeat data from China lifted U.S. stock index futures on the first trading day of the new year, with Dow futures advancing by triple-digit points.

* After coming within a hair's breadth of the historical 20,000 mark in December as part of a post-election rally, the Dow is likely to make a fresh attempt at breaching the milestone on Tuesday.

* The index rose 13.4 percent in 2016, its best performance in three years.

* Brent crude prices rose more than 2 percent to $58 on Tuesday after a deal among major producers to limit oversupply came into effect on Sunday.

* China's factory activity picked up more than expected in December giving the manufacturing sector a solid boost heading into 2017, according to a private business survey.

* The dollar index was on a tear, notching its best day in nearly three weeks at 103.42, while higher inflation data in Europe sent world stocks higher.

* With just over two weeks before President-elect Donald Trump takes office, investors will be watching his words to see what policy changes he enacts.

* The markets closed lower on Friday but marked solid gains for the year, surging after Trump victory on bets that he would introduce market friendly policies such as tax cuts and simpler regulation.

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A trader at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 30, 2016. REUTERS/Stephen Yang

* Data on tap includes the ISM Manufacturing Purchasing Manufacturer's index (PMI) which is expected to have edged up to 53.6 in December from 53.2 in the previous month. The report is due at 10:00 a.m. ET.

* Technology stocks including Ebay, Micron Tech,  Amazon.com and Facebook  were primed for gains

* Bank of America, JPMorgan,  Goldman Sachs  and Wells Fargo were up between 0.9 percent and 2 percent after Barclays raised its price targets on the stocks.

Futures snapshot at 6:55 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 146 points, or 0.74 percent, with 24,062 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 18.25 points, or 0.82 percent, with 124,453 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 39.75 points, or 0.82 percent, on volume of 19,882 contracts.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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