October 3, 2018 / 11:41 AM / 20 days ago

US STOCKS-Futures rise on hopes of Italy's budget concessions

* Futures gain: Dow 0.19 pct, S&P 0.25 pct, Nasdaq 0.25 pct

By Medha Singh

Oct 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures rose on Wednesday, buoyed by a rebound in European markets after Italy indicated that it was open to reducing its budget deficits in the coming years.

The news pushed both euro and European stocks higher, and follows increased concerns over Italy's debt problems after the ruling coalition last week tripled the previous government's budget deficit target.

"The indices are pointing to a higher opening as Italy makes some budget-deficit concessions lifting most global markets," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

Lennar gained 4.2 percent premarket after the U.S. homebuilder reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit, benefiting from the acquisition of smaller rival CalAtlantic and a robust housing market.

Shares of J.C. Penny rose 6.4 percent after the company named retail veteran Jill Soltau as its new chief executive.

At 6:51 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 52 points, or 0.19 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 7.25 points, or 0.25 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 19.25 points, or 0.25 percent.

Intel looked set for a second straight day of gains, up 1.4 percent. The chipmaker closed 3.6 percent higher on Tuesday and was among the biggest drivers in helping the bluechip Dow Jones Industrial Average seal a record closing high.

Nike dipped 0.6 percent after HSBC downgraded to "hold," citing lower expectations for the sportswear maker to surprise investors on the upside and an absence of catalysts to drive shares higher.

A number of Federal Reserve officials are scheduled to speak on topics ranging from the outlook of the U.S. economy to the labor market on Wednesday.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said he was comfortable with expectations in financial markets that the U.S. central bank will raise interest rates again in December.

ADP National Employment Report due at 8:15 a.m. ET is likely to report private payrolls increasing by 185,000 jobs in September, compared with a rise of 163,000 jobs in August.

Separately, ISM data to be published at 10:00 a.m. ET is expected to show its non-manufacturing activity index fell 0.5 point to 58.0 in September. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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