Stock index futures rose on Thursday as higher profit from JPMorgan
JPMorgan Chase & Co reported higher second-quarter profits, boosted by lower costs for bad loans, sending the stock up 1.8 percent to $40.31 in premarket trade.
It's good to have a big bank come out and beat estimates. It sets a positive tone for other commercial banks, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York.
S&P 500 futures rose 4.3 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 22 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 12 points.
Concern about sovereign debt at home and in Europe have overshadowed the start of U.S. earnings season and kept equity markets under pressure.
After markets closed on Wednesday, ratings agency Moody's warned that the United States could lose its top credit rating if lawmakers fail to increase the country's borrowing limit.
Moody's said it would likely assign a negative outlook to the nation's gold-plated credit rating if a credible agreement with long-term deficit reduction measures was not achieved.
U.S. President Barack Obama clashed with Republican lawmakers on Wednesday in a fierce White House meeting on deficit reduction that left a deal in question as the clock ticked toward a debt default.
Also set to report results, Google
Shares on Wall Street ended higher on Wednesday on expectations further stimulus measures could be on the horizon after the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the Fed is ready to ease monetary policy further if economic growth and inflation slow much more.
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Euro zone countries continued to grapple with the thorny issue of involving the private sector in tackling Greece's debt pile as they prepared for a meeting to decide support for the country next week.
(Editing by Kenneth Barry)