US STOCKS-Futures imply positive start for 2015; oil still weaker

* Wall Street comes off strong year, fourth quarter

* Energy weakness looks set to continue as oil drops

* General Motors (NYSE: GM – news) announces new recalls, shares gain

* Futures up: Dow 70 pts, S&P 8.25 pts, Nasdaq 19.75 pts (Updates prices)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Jan 2 (Reuters) – Dow Futures pointed to a higher open on Friday as equities looked to rebound from a sharp decline in the previous session, though moves and volume were likely to remain tepid as the holiday week draws to a close.

Wall Street ended 2014 with solid gains for the year and fourth quarter, though a broad decline Wednesday pushed the S&P 500 into negative territory for December. Weakness in energy shares contributed to Wednesday’s decline, and that looked set to continue with a further drop in crude prices.

While the market has had an upward bias since mid-December, with the S&P rising in seven of the past 10 sessions, many portfolio managers and traders make adjustments to their holdings early in the new year. The S&P is about 1.5 percent away from its record close, and market participants will be questioning whether current levels are justified.

The CBOE Volatility index, a measure of investor anxiety, is up 32 percent so far this week, but remains historically at low levels. Still, a pickup in profit growth may be essential if the market is to continue adding to its gains.

Crude oil fell 1.5 percent on Friday, erasing earlier gains, as a supply glut outweighed investors positioning at the new year for a possible recovery. Oil is set to record its 13th negative week out of the past 14, and is at levels not seen since 2009.

Linn Energy LLC cut its 2015 capital budget by 53 percent because of the drop in oil prices, sending shares down 6.5 percent to $ 9.47 in premarket trading.

On Thursday, when the stock market was closed for the New (KOSDAQ: 160550.KQ – news) Year’s holiday, General Motors Co announced three new vehicle recalls, the biggest involving the ignition design of several SUV and pickup truck models. GM shares were pressured throughout 2014 as ignition switch problems led to accidents that caused more than 40 deaths and the recall of millions of vehicles. Shares (Dusseldorf: DI6.DU – news) rose 1 percent to $ 35.25 in premarket trading.

Investors were looking ahead to a reading on November construction spending, which is seen rising 0.3 percent, as well as the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index, which is expected to fall to 57.6 in December from 58.7.

Despite the gains implied by futures, major indexes remained on track for a negative week. The Dow is down 1.3 percent, while the S&P is off 1.4 percent and the Nasdaq has fallen 1.5 percent.

Futures snapshot at 8:56 a.m.:

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 8.25 points, or 0.4 percent, with 121,148 contracts changing hands.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 19.75 points, or 0.47 percent, in volume of 17,046 contracts.

* Dow e-minis were up 70 points, or 0.39 percent, with 15,981 contracts changing hands. (Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Bernadette Baum)

Dow Futures

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