MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Indications: U.S. stock futures point to further gains

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By Simon Kennedy and Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures gained Wednesday as solid earnings from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Intel Corp. and CSX Corp. bolstered sentiment.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\z10 (DJZ10 11,070, +113.00, +1.03%)  rose 70 points to 11,027, and S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\z10 (SPZ10 1,177, +12.30, +1.06%)  gained 8.70 points to 1,173.2.

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Futures on the technology-laden Nasdaq 100 /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\z10 (NDZ10 2,058, +20.50, +1.01%)  added 15.25 points to 2,052.25.

U.S. markets closed higher Tuesday after a more definitive signal from the Federal Reserve that more quantitative easing is on the way. The Dow industrials closed up 0.1% at 11,020.40, and the S&P 500 ended 0.4% higher at 1,169.77. See story on Federal Reserve.

Stephen Moore, a portfolio manager at Threadneedle Asset Management, said it’s hard to gauge the exact impact of further quantitative easing until the full plans are announced, but that equities should do “very well” with any measures.

“There’s no doubt that it should create liquidity, and that liquidity should flow to what is the cheapest high-risk asset, and at the moment, that is equities,” he said on a Web conference.

Ahead of Wall Street’s start, the Labor Department reported the price of goods imported into the United States declined 0.3% in September.

J.P. Morgan /quotes/comstock/13*!jpm/quotes/nls/jpm (JPM 40.30, -0.10, -0.25%) , the first large bank to report third-quarter results, said its profit rose 23% to $4.42 billion, or $1.01 a share, ahead of the 90 cents a share that analysts had expected. Read more about J.P. Morgan’s results.

Technology challenged

Tim Harvey, chief executive of Perimeter E-Security, sees underserved customers in the information security market, despite aggressive investment by large technology vendors and a wide array of start-ups chasing the space.

Shares of the bank rose 1.3% in premarket trading, while Intel /quotes/comstock/15*!intc/quotes/nls/intc (INTC 19.66, -0.11, -0.56%)  climbed 1.3% after announcing its quarterly results late Tuesday.

The chip giant reported a 59% jump in third-quarter profit, citing “solid demand” from corporate customers. The company earned $2.96 billion, or 52 cents a share. Analysts had expected earnings of 50 cents a share. See story on Intel’s earnings

Railroad operator CSX /quotes/comstock/13*!csx/quotes/nls/csx (CSX 59.61, +2.35, +4.10%)  also beat forecasts, offering hope that portions of the economy are expanding.

Other companies that will be in focus Wednesday include Chevron Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!cvx/quotes/nls/cvx (CVX 83.23, -0.61, -0.73%) , which said late Tuesday that it expects third-quarter earnings to come in below its second-quarter results due to a combination of a weaker dollar, rising costs and lower crude-oil prices.

Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!hst/quotes/nls/hst (HST 15.99, +0.18, +1.14%) reported a loss of 9 cents a share, matching the year-ago figure and slightly beating the 11-cents-a-share loss expected by analysts.

Gold resumed its push higher, rising to about $1,359 an ounce in electronic trading.

European markets also posted strong gains as they reacted to the latest Federal Reserve minutes. The French CAC 40 index rose 1.5%. In Asia, the Nikkei 225 Average closed up 0.2%. See Europe markets report

Simon Kennedy is the City correspondent for MarketWatch in London. Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.

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