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At 8:50 AM EDT:

U.S. Futures

S&P 500: +1.50; 1,421.80
NASDAQ 100: +3.00; 1,767.00
Dow: +7.00; 2,425.00

International Indexes

Asia
NIKKEI 225: +0.45%; 17,169.19 (+76.30)
BSE SENSEX 30: +1.76%; 13,708.34 (+236.60)

Europe
FTSE 100: closed
CAC 40: closed
XETRA-DAX: closed

Commodity Futures (Reuters/Jefferies CRB)

Oil: +0.62%; $62.80 (+$0.39)
Gold: +0.82%; $627.40 (+$5.10)
Natural Gas: -5.70%; $6.26 (-$0.38)
Silver: +0.91%; $12.77 (+$0.115)

Asian Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Japan's Inflation Accelerates, Jobless Rate Falls in Boost to Consumption Japan's inflation rate rose last month and the jobless rate unexpectedly fell to an eight-year low, supporting the central bank's case that the lowest interest rates among major economies need to increase.

Asian Stocks Advance as Nippon Steel Gains on Pricing Report; Taiwan Rises Asian stocks rose, reversing an earlier decline. Nippon Steel Corp. advanced after the Nihon Keizai newspaper reported Japanese shipmakers agreed to pay 5 percent more for the metal next year.

Yen Falls as Inflation, Spending Reports Fail to Boost Odds for Rate Rise The yen fell after government reports on inflation and spending suggested the Bank of Japan will keep interest rates on hold at a policy meeting next month.

Singapore's November Manufacturing Growth Accelerates on Drug Output Surge Singapore's industrial production grew in November at almost three times the expected pace as pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) increased output.

Honda to Shift Development of Minicars to Subsidiary, Free Up Engineers Honda Motor Co. (NYSE:HMC), Japan's third-largest automaker, will shift development of minicar models for the domestic market to a new subsidiary, freeing up engineers to focus on more profitable cars.

European Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Stocks Worldwide May Overcome Slower Profit Growth in Record-Setting Rally Stocks rose to records worldwide this year on higher corporate earnings and a pickup in takeover offers. Investors' willingness to accept slower earnings growth next year may keep the rally going.

Berlin Real Estate Market Turns Up as Foreign Investors Seize on Bargains Yngve Fredheim, a 60-year-old civil engineer from Norway, bought an apartment in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg district last year for 300,000 euros ($385,000), or about 60 percent less than a comparable apartment back home in Oslo.

Yen Falls as Inflation, Spending Reports Fail to Boost Odds for Rate Rise The yen fell after government reports on inflation and spending suggested the Bank of Japan will keep interest rates on hold at a policy meeting next month.

Crude Oil Rises After Iran Vows to Defy UN Sanctions on Nuclear Research Crude oil rose after Iran, the Middle East's second-largest exporter, said it will defy United Nations sanctions and pursue nuclear research.

Israel Prime Minister Olmert Wins Backing of Coalition for the 2007 Budget Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert won the backing of his coalition partners for the 2007 budget late yesterday, enabling voting on the spending package to begin in parliament.

U.S. Headlines (via Bloomberg.com)

Stock-Index Futures Are Little Changed; Openwave, Amyline Might Be Active U.S. stock-index futures were little changed following the Christmas break.

Gold May Rise for Second Week as Investors Seek Dollar-Asset Alternatives Gold may gain for a second straight week as investors purchase bullion and avoid dollar-denominated assets.

Source: U.S. Futures Trading Slightly Higher