Oct 17, 2012
U.S. Futures Indications | MarketWatch -October 17, 2012;-: Stock futures flat; B. of A., housing starts ahead
By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch
MADRID (MarketWatch) — U.S. stock-market futures traded flat Wednesday ahead of earnings from Bank of America Corp. and other financials, with sentiment overshadowed by prior-day disappointment from International Business Machines Corp. and Intel Corp. Data include housing starts.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJZ2 -0.0074% rose 3 points to 13,456, while those for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index SPZ2 +0.06% rose 0.7 point to 1,449.90.
Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index NDZ2 -0.02% fell 1.5 points to 2,763.75.
Still, David Thebault, Paris-based head of quantitative sales trading for Global Equities, said he expects the Standard & Poor’s 500 index to open up 0.8% to 1.1% higher on Wednesday.
“That’s because the systemic risk in Europe has definitely left and the market is not focusing on U.S. earnings except a major surprise,” said Thebault, in emailed comments.
In Europe, Spanish stocks and bonds rallied on relief after Moody’s Investors Service left the sovereign-debt rating for that country at investment grade, while the euro soared. Global markets got a boost the prior day on reports Spain has made progress with its bailout quest.
Amid another earnings flood Wednesday, housing starts for September are due at at 8:30 a.m. Eastern time. Analysts at Danske Bank said they expect “continued improvement in both housing starts and building permits.”
The prior month, housing starts rose by 750,000, while forecasters polled by MarketWatch are forecasting a gain of 770,000.
Wall Street could be challenged to live up to the prior day’s rally. The Dow industrials DJIA +0.95% on Tuesday logged their biggest one-day gain since Sept. 13, lifted by robust results from Coca-Cola Co. KO -0.60% and hope for Spanish bailout-request progress. The index surged 127.55 points, or 1%, to close at 13,551.78.
But disappointment from tech bellwethers late Tuesday is hanging over sentiment. IBM’s IBM +0.99% quarterly forecast fell short of Wall Street hopes, while Intel’s INTC +2.85% quarterly sales missed expectations, and both shares got hit in after-hours trading. Read: IBM, Intel are weak kickoffs for tech earnings
Shares of Apollo Group Inc. APOL -0.61% and Fortinet Inc. FTNT +0.20% also fell late Tuesday after yearly outlooks fell short of expectations. Read Intel, IBM shares turn red after hours
Leading a packed earnings lineup Wednesday, heavyweight Bank of America BAC +0.21% is expected to post a third-quarter loss of 7 cents a share, according to a survey of analysts conducted by FactSet.
The bank will report ahead of the bell along with a clutch of others, including Bank of New York Mellon Corp. BK +2.04% BK +2.04% BK +2.04% , which is expected to report third-quarter earnings rose 1 cent to 54 cents a share.
Blackrock Inc. BLK +2.48% , Comerica Inc. CMA +0.52% , U.S. Bancorp. USB -0.06% , Halliburton Co. HAL +2.13% , PepsiCo Inc. PEP -0.06% and Northern Trust Corp. NTRS +1.86% are among others due to report before Wall Street opens.
A long-awaited decision by Moody’s over Spain’s sovereign debt rating rallied Spanish stocks and bonds. The euro EURUSD +0.52% surged to $1.3119 against the dollar, its highest level in a month. Read: Moody’s decision lifts euro to 1-month high
Asia stocks rose as Wall Street cheer spread, with Japanese shares rallying into a third session. The Nikkei Stock Average JP:100000018 +1.21% jumped 1.2%. Read: Japan stocks lead as Asia markets march higher
Crude oil for November delivery CLX2 +0.09% was down 5 cents to $92.04 a barrel.
Gold for December delivery GCZ2 +0.26% rose $2.20 to $1,748.50 an ounce.
Barbara Kollmeyer is an editor for MarketWatch in Madrid.
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