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Stock Futures Edge Higher


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were rising Monday with investors encouraged by some upbeat overseas data and deals news.

Stocks also were getting a lift from Greek lawmakers managing to pass a harsh 2013 budget over the weekend by a vast majority.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were rising 31 points, or 30.61 points above fair value, at 12,795. Futures for the S&P 500 were up by 4.30 points, or 3.90 points above fair value, at 1380. Futures for the Nasdaq were rising 13 points, or 13.21 points above fair value, at 2593.

China reported over the weekend that its export growth soared to a five-month high in October, surpassing estimates at over 11%, and calming fears that the world's second-largest economy was stalling.

Japan, meanwhile, said that its economy contracted 0.9% in the third quarter, the first contraction in in three quarters, weighed down mostly by weaker external demand.

"China's data is an interesting contrast, with exports doing better than expected (to the U.S. and Asia. Not to Europe, obviously). There is external demand for some product," commented Paul Donovan, a global economist at UBS. "Chinese imports were weaker, but we look for some pick up there in November."

Eurozone finance ministers were scheduled to meet in Brussels Monday and talk about releasing bailout funds to Greece, which is faced with a €4.1 billion ($5.2 billion) government bill redemption on Nov. 16.

"It seems unlikely that any agreement will be finalized at that time," noted Michala Marcussen, head of global economics at Societe Generale. "Indeed, German Finance Minister Schaeuble made it clear in a press interview Sunday that Greece's creditors would not be put under pressure to rush a disbursement. The hurdle lies in the fact that however we twist and turn the equations, Greece needs more money, both in terms of funding flows and debt levels."

Over the weekend, ahead of the finance ministers meeting, the Greek Parliament was able to ratify a tough 2013 budget required to help guarantee the quick payment of its next tranche of bailout money and avoid bankruptcy.

No major U.S. economic releases were expected Monday. The bond market was closed and most federal workers were off in observance of Veteran's Day.

Economic releases later this week include the consumer price report on Thursday and several manufacturing indicators, such as the Empire manufacturing, Philly Fed, and industrial production reports.

There will also be retail sales data on Wednesday, where there could be distortions due to Hurricane Sandy.

The FTSE 100 in London was up by 0.24%, while the DAX in Germany was up 0.29%. Japan's Nikkei average settled down 0.93% on Monday and Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed higher by 0.21%.