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U.S. Stock-Index Futures Rise Before Confidence, Housing Reports

March 25 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures rose, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell for two days, as investors awaited data on consumer confidence and new-home sales.

Walt Disney Co. climbed 1.9 percent after agreeing to buy Maker Studios, a supplier of online video content to YouTube. Sonic Corp. rallied 7.1 percent after the owner of drive-in restaurants posted second-quarter earnings yesterday that beat analysts’ estimates. Netflix Inc. dropped 1 percent following its biggest decline since October.

Futures on the S&P 500 expiring in June added 0.3 percent to 1,855.4 at 7:42 a.m. in New York. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts increased 58 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,260 today.

“It’s the quiet before the storm,” said Andreas Nigg, head of equity and commodity strategy at Vontobel Asset Management in Zurich. “Investors will be looking for more confirmation that the U.S. economy is gaining traction as we head into spring. The economic data will be closely watched.”

The S&P 500 slid yesterday as economic data signaled a slowdown in American manufacturing and biotechnology shares slumped. The benchmark index lost 0.8 percent in the last two days.

A U.S. report at 10 a.m. in New York will probably show the Conference Board’s consumer-confidence index rose this month, according to a Bloomberg News survey of economists. Consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of activity in the world’s largest economy. New-house sales declined last month after rising in January to the highest level since July 2008, a separate report may show.

Russia Sanctions

The Group of Seven threatened more sanctions against Russia, the world’s largest energy exporter, after it annexed Crimea last week. The top industrial nations said they will hold a summit in June in Brussels instead of a planned G-8 meeting in Sochi, site of the Winter Olympics.

U.S. President Barack Obama and his fellow G-7 leaders met in The Hague yesterday to agree on the next steps in the crisis, as concern grows that Russia is building up its forces on the border with Ukraine.

Disney added 1.9 percent to $81. The company agreed to buy Maker Studios for at least $500 million and to pay as much as $450 million more if the video-content supplier meets strong performance targets, according to a statement.

Sonic advanced 7.1 percent to $22.40 in late trading yesterday. The company’s second-quarter adjusted profit of 7 cents a share beat the average analyst projection of 6 cents.

Netflix slipped 1 percent to $374.99. The largest online video-subscription service lost 6.7 percent yesterday after a report that Apple Inc. has started talks to stream TV over with Comcast Corp.’s cable network.

To contact the reporters on this story: Inyoung Hwang in London at ihwang7@bloomberg.net; Corinne Gretler in Zurich at cgretler1@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: Cecile Vannucci at cvannucci1@bloomberg.net; Lynn Thomasson at lthomasson@bloomberg.net Jeff Sutherland, Will Hadfield

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