MarketWatch.com - Pre-Market Indications

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Indications: U.S. stock futures flat ahead of Goldman results

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By William L. Watts, MarketWatch

LONDON (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures saw choppy trade Wednesday, trading nearly unchanged as investors digested strong earnings data from Apple Inc. and awaited results from Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\h11 (SPH11 1,292, -2.90, -0.22%)  fell 1.2 points to 1,293.30, while futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\h11 (DJH11 11,803, -8.00, -0.07%)  rose 3 points to 11,814.

Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\h11 (NDH11 2,332, +1.25, +0.05%)  were unchanged at 2,330.75.

Not a word about Steve Jobs

Not a single analyst asked about Steve Jobs' medical leave on the Apple earnings call Tuesday afternoon. Stacey Delo and Dan Gallagher discuss that, and the tech bellwether’s earnings.

Strategists said investors continue to show a hearty, underlying appetite for risk, which bodes well for equities.

“Overall, any weakness tends to be short-lived,” said David Jones, chief market strategist at IG Index, with investors gunning for the 12,000 level on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Strategists at Lloyds TSB said in a note: “All in all, the ‘risk-on/reflation’ trade seems in rude health, across asset classes, and keeps defying our expectation for a correction in [the first quarter].”

After Tuesday’s closing bell, Apple /quotes/comstock/15*!aapl/quotes/nls/aapl (AAPL 340.65, -7.83, -2.25%)  said first-quarter net income jumped to $6 billion, or $6.43 a share, compared to net income of $3.38 billion, or $3.67 a share, for the same period last year. Revenue jumped more than 70% to $26.74 billion on strong holiday sales of the iPhone and iPad. Read about Apple's first-quarter earnings.

Apple shares fell by more than 2% in Tuesday’s regular session, a day after the company announced that Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs would be going on another medical leave.

Apple shares rose 1% in U.S. premarket trade on Wednesday.

Shares of International Business Machines /quotes/comstock/13*!ibm/quotes/nls/ibm (IBM 150.65, +0.65, +0.43%)  gained 2.4% in premarket trade. The firm said late Tuesday that its second-quarter net income nearly doubled to $143.7 million, or 62 cents a share. Revenue rose 50% to $383.6 million. Read about IBM’s results.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. /quotes/comstock/13*!bk/quotes/nls/bk (BK 32.02, -0.35, -1.08%)  said Wednesday that fourth-quarter profit from continuing operations fell 3.1% to $690 million, or 55 cents a share, including restructuring charges of 4 cents. Analysts surveyed by Factset Research had produced a consensus forecast of 57 cents a share.

Goldman results on tap

Ahead of Wednesday’s opening bell, Goldman Sachs /quotes/comstock/13*!gs/quotes/nls/gs (GS 174.68, -0.32, -0.18%)  is expected to post fourth-quarter earnings of $3.76 a share, according to FactSet.

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Wells Fargo & Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!wfc/quotes/nls/wfc (WFC 32.49, -0.26, -0.79%)  is also expected to report ahead of the open. The consensus estimate is for earnings of 61 cents a share.

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