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Wall Street was set for kicking off December on an upbeat note on Tuesday, with stock futures tracking a positive session in Asia ahead of closely watched economic events this week that could determine future U.S. monetary policy.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 60 points, or 0.3%, to 17,774, while those for the S&P 500 index added 6.45 points, or 0.3%, to 2,086.25. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index climbed 14.25 points, or 0.3%, to 4,682.75.

The positive trading mood comes after U.S. stocks ended slightly lower on Monday (, trimming their monthly gains

“U.S. futures appear to be benefiting from a positive lead from Asia after experiencing small losses at the start of the week. I don’t think we can read too much into these small moves and I think they reflect a more cautious environment ahead of Thursday’s [European Central Bank] decision and Friday’s jobs report,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in emailed comments.

“These are the key events this week and I think investors may largely sit on the fence ahead of them. I think these minor gains and losses are reflective of this,” he added.

The nonfarm-payrolls report due on Friday is seen as an important factor in determining the timing of the first U.S. rate hike in nearly a decade, as it provides a health check on the U.S. labor market. Read: Fed may need 4% unemployment rate to hit inflation goal (

Expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates after its Dec. 15-16 meeting are already high after a string of solid economic data in November. The notion that the central bank is confident enough in the U.S. economy to start the tightening cycle was also one of the factors that helped keep stock markets afloat last month.

Data: Tuesday will offer a host of data that could weaken or strengthen the case for a rate rise, including two releases on the manufacturing sector. At 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time, the final manufacturing purchasing managers index for November is due, forecast to confirm the flash estimate of 52.6. That number was the lowest in 25 months (

At 10 a.m., the Institute for Supply Management’s index of manufacturing comes out, expected to rise to 50.5% in November from 50.1% in October (

Construction spending for October is also due at 10 a.m., while monthly car sales drip out through the day.

Fed speakers: Chicago Fed President Charles Evans will give a speech on the economy to the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce at Michigan State University at 12:45 p.m. Eastern.

At 8 p.m. Eastern, Fed Gov. Lael Brainard will talk about the “Lower Neutral Rate and its implications for Monetary Policy” at Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research Associates Meeting in Stanford, Calif.

Movers and shakers: Shares of HF Financial Corp.(HFFC) could be active after news late Monday that Great Western Bancorp Inc.(GWB) will buy the company for $139.4 million.

Infoblox Inc.(BLOX) was poised for a positive trading day after the network software company late Monday reported earnings that topped analyst expectations (

Other markets: Asian stock markets closed broadly in positive territory ( after a flurry of weak PMIs lifted hopes for more monetary easing.

European equities seesawed, with investors reluctant to take any major positions ahead of the ECB meeting on Thursday. Economists widely expect the central bank to extend its quantitative easing program and possibly move the deposit rate further into negative territory.

Crude oil advanced to briefly trade above $42 ( a barrel as the meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meeting this Friday in Vienna drew closer.