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Sarhan in Reuters: US STOCKS-Wall St Set To Open Higher On Oil Rise, Stimulus Hopes

* Manufacturing data weak in euro zone and China
* Fiat up after reporting increase in February sales
* Futures up: Dow 93 pts, S&P 12 pts, Nasdaq 24 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
March 1 Wall Street was set to open higher on Tuesday as oil prices held on to gains and weak economic data globally raised hopes of a further easing of monetary policies.
Crude oil prices rose on the prospects of higher demand from China, the world’s largest commodities consumer. Oil prices have influenced stock markets for most of this year as investors take oil demand as a barometer of economic growth.
Global stocks rose after disappointing manufacturing data out of the euro zone and China bolstered the chances of central banks extending stimulus programs.
The data will likely give the U.S. Federal Reserve pause as it deliberates on if and when it will further increase interest rates.
While Fed Chair Janet Yellen has hinted at continuing with the central bank’s plan to raise rates gradually through the year, other policymakers are calling for a pause amid the turmoil in global financial markets and slowing global growth.
“We’re seeing this little rally from the last three weeks continue for now,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.
“You’ve got a notion the market has shifted back to the easy money trade. In the short term, that helps lift asset prices, but long term, that’s not good,” he cautioned.
At 8:26 a.m. ET (1326 GMT), Dow e-minis were up 93 points, or 0.56 percent, with 37,795 contracts changing hands.
S&P 500 e-minis were up 12 points, or 0.62 percent, with 275,379 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 24 points, or 0.57 percent, on volume of 40,105 contracts.
Wall Street closed lower on Monday, pushing the S&P 500 into losses for the third straight month. The index also closed below its 50-day moving average for the first time since Thursday, a sign that could spell trouble for sentiment.
Data from the Institute for Supply Management is expected to show U.S. manufacturing activity steadied in February, with the national manufacturing index inching up to 48.5 from 48.2 in January. The report is due at 10:00 a.m. ET (1500 GMT).
Shares of Fiat rose 4.1 percent to $7.13 after the automaker said February U.S. sales rose 12 percent. Ford and General Motors rose about 1.5 percent. Analysts expect overall U.S. auto sales rose 7-9 percent last month.
Dollar Tree was down 5.1 percent at $76.18 after its quarterly sales missed estimates.
Marvell Technology rose 4.7 percent to $10.14 after the company said an audit committee investigation found no signs of fraudulent activity.