US stocks set to rise on European optimism

NEW YORK (AP) ? U.S. stocks appear headed for gains after overseas markets welcomed German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s call for stronger rules to enforce fiscal discipline in the European Union.

Less than two hours before the start of trading, Dow Jones industrial futures are up 1.2 percent to 12,142, and S&P 500 futures up 1.3 percent to 1,260.

Investors are awaiting monthly U.S. jobs data, set for release at 8:30 a.m. EST. Economists expect an increase of about 125,000 jobs. The unemployment rate is forecast to remain at 9 percent.

In a closely scrutinized speech to Germany’s parliament, Merkel said the 17 nations that use the euro currency must move quickly to restore market confidence, making financial controls stricter and more binding.

Most European markets are up about 1.5 percent. Asian markets closed mixed.