By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
LONDON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures pointed to opening gains Wednesday after results from Intel and J.P. Morgan Chase as a host of economic data await.
Intel kicks off tech earnings season with strong report
Intel's profit surges as revenue jumps 44%. MarketWatch's Dan Gallagher tells Stacey Delo what's behind the chip maker's strong earnings report.
S&P 500 futures rose 3.7 points to 1,196.80 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 10.25 points to 2,011.50.
Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 32 points.
U.S. stocks reversed early losses to end higher Tuesday, as investors looked past Alcoa's downbeat start to earnings season and bought shares of consumer discretionary and IT stocks.
Ending above 11,000 for a second straight session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 13 points, the S&P 500 added a point and the Nasdaq Composite gained 8 points.
Intel /quotes/comstock/15*!intc/quotes/nls/intc (INTC 22.77, +0.23, +1.02%) rose 4% in preopen trade as the world's leading microchip maker said late Tuesday its quarterly profit nearly quadrupled on 44% revenue growth.
"We remain impressed by Intel's execution with robust first-quarter results at the upper end of elevated investor expectations, better than seasonal second-quarter sales guide and sharply higher gross margin guidance for the usually weaker second quarter and for calendar year 2010 all while keeping inventory flattish at +2%," said Tim Luke, an analyst at Barclays Capital, in a note to clients.TODAY'S INTERNATIONAL MARKET STORIES
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Intel "sort of points toward what everyone is looking for this earnings season: signs that companies that deal with the real world, that actually sell goods that are part of the investment cycle, are growing on the top line," said Christian Blaabjerg, a strategist at Saxo Bank.
J.P. Morgan Chase /quotes/comstock/13*!jpm/quotes/nls/jpm (JPM 45.87, -0.27, -0.59%) meanwhile said its profit rose to $3.3 billion from $2.1 billion, sending its shares up 1.9% in premarket trade. Its investment bank results helped offset high losses in its consumer credit portfolio, Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon said.
There's also a busy day in Washington: releases on consumer prices and retail sales for March, the Beige Book of regional economic conditions and testimony by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
"Yesterday's trade data showed that the U.S. consumer cannot be kept out of the shopping mall," said Paul Donovan, an economist at UBS.
Asian markets were mixed, with gains in Tokyo and South Korea but declines in Shanghai and Hong Kong.
Europe stocks rose, helped by technology firms not just on Intel but on results from Dutch chip-equipment maker ASML Holding /quotes/comstock/15*!asml/quotes/nls/asml (ASML 35.99, +0.13, +0.36%) and French IT services firm Atos Origin.
Crude-oil futures rose ahead of weekly energy inventories, and the dollar index /quotes/comstock/11j!i:dxy0 (DXY 80.40, -0.11, -0.14%) slipped 0.1%.
Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief.