- Pre-Market Indications

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Indications: U.S. stock futures rise as earnings pour in

Stock Assault 2.0 - Artificial Intelligence Stock Market Software

By Polya Lesova and Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) â€" U.S. stock futures rose Tuesday, tracking gains in European and Asian markets, as traders digested a string of earnings reports and awaited manufacturing data.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/21b!f:dj\h11 (DJH11 11,975, 0.00, 0.00%)  climbed 47 points to 11,887, and S&P 500 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:sp\h11 (SPH11 1,302, -0.90, -0.07%)  rose 7.8 points to 1,290.2.

Nasdaq 100 futures /quotes/comstock/21m!f:nd\h11 (NDH11 2,323, +42.50, +1.86%)  advanced 14.25 points to 2,294.25.

The blue-chip Dow industrials /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 12,040, +148.23, +1.25%)  rose 2.7% last month, its best January performance since 1997.

Fears of oil and commodity inflation

Unrest in Egypt is rippling across frontier markets and broader emerging markets, with the potential to push food and fuel prices higher â€" and even threaten the global recovery.

“It looks as though the market is beginning to focus on the economic data and earnings,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners.

For now, market participants are putting the situation in Egypt â€" which has been rocked by antigovernment protests for days â€" “on the back burner,” he said.

Numerous companies reported quarterly results early Tuesday.

Shares of Archer Daniels Midland Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!adm/quotes/nls/adm (ADM 34.70, +2.03, +6.21%) rose in premarket trading after the agricultural commodity company reported an increase in quarterly profit.

United Parcel Service Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!ups/quotes/nls/ups (UPS 74.59, +2.97, +4.15%)   also reported higher-than-expected earnings, with the delivery-service company saying 2011 earnings would likely beat their pre-recession levels from 2007. Shares of UPS were up almost 3% in the premarket.

Blue-chip drug giant Pfizer Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!pfe/quotes/nls/pfe (PFE 19.22, +1.00, +5.49%)  said its fourth-quarter profit rose to 36 cents a share and announced a new share-repurchase program of up to $5 billion of its common stock.

Shares of BP PLC /quotes/comstock/13*!bp/quotes/nls/bp (BP 47.98, +0.51, +1.07%)   /quotes/comstock/23s!a:bp. (UK:BP. 491.00, +6.15, +1.27%)  declined 1.5% in premarket trading after the oil giant’s fourth-quarter adjusted profit came in short of market expectations. BP’s net profit rose 30%, and it said it would resume dividend payments. Read more about BP’s results.

Shares of Baidu Inc. /quotes/comstock/15*!bidu/quotes/nls/bidu (BIDU 118.73, +10.10, +9.30%)  rallied in premarket trade. Late Monday, the Chinese Internet-search firm reported fourth-quarter results that beat expectations.

U.S. car makers are due to report January sales. Read more about what’s expected from auto sales.

At 10 a.m. Eastern, the Institute for Supply Management’s report on manufacturing activity for January and data on construction spending for December will be released.

Cardillo expects the ISM data to show continued growth in the manufacturing sector.

“Europe is higher, the dollar is lower, and that also invites some risk-taking,” Cardillo said.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index /quotes/comstock/22c!sxxp (ST:STOXX600 284.20, +4.15, +1.48%)  rose 0.9% in afternoon trading, buoyed by strong economic data, including a decline in the number of unemployed in Germany.

Asian stocks finished mostly higher overnight, with China’s Shanghai Composite index /quotes/comstock/16k!i:000001 (CN:SHCOMP 2,799, +8.27, +0.30%)   gaining 0.3%. Traders digested two separate Chinese PMI surveys, which painted a mixed picture of the nation’s manufacturing sector.

Polya Lesova is chief of MarketWatch’s London bureau. Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.

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