US STOCKS-Futures edge up, buoyed by deal activity

* Futures up: Dow 38 pts, S&P 3.5 pts, Nasdaq 1.75 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

April 10 (Reuters) – Dow Futures edged higher on Friday, getting a lift from news that General Electric will sell nearly all of its real estate portfolio to investors for $ 26.5 billion in the latest of a spate of recent deal activity.

* The GE move is the biggest commercial real estate deal since Blackstone’s acquisition of office landlord Equity Office Properties Trust in 2007 for $ 39 billion, including debt. GE shares jumped 6.3 percent to $ 27.36 before the opening bell.

* The S&P 500 is up 1.2 percent for the week and is on track for a second straight week of gains, helped by a pickup in merger activity. Investors are also bracing for a pickup in quarterly results after the corporate earnings season kicked off earlier this week.

* Data expected at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) includes import prices for March, which are expected to decline 0.3 percent.

* Consumers flocked to Apple Inc’s stores around the world on Friday to get the first close-up look at the tech giant’s smartwatch, which the company expects will be its next runaway hit. Still, Apple shares were off 0.5 percent at $ 125.99 in premarket trading.

* PayPal, eBay Inc’s electronic payments division, said the two firms had agreed that eBay would not reduce the volume of transactions it channels through PayPal, while continuing to get better rates for its merchants for five years after the two split.

Futures snapshot at 7:26 a.m. EDT (1126 GMT)

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.5 points, or 0.17 percent, with 87,049 contracts changing hands.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 1.75 points, or 0.04 percent, in volume of 10,877 contracts.

* Dow e-minis were up 38 points, or 0.21 percent, with 14,377 contracts changing hands.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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