Stock futures fall, JPMorgan profit jumps

By @ibtimes on

U.S. stock index futures were lower on Friday despite strong quarterly results from JPMorgan Chase as the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 looked to close out a seventh week of gains.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co , the first major financial company to report, reported quarterly profit jumped 47 percent, and Jamie Dimon, the chief executive, also said there were signs of stability and growth returning to the U.S. economy.

* The expectations of strong earnings have lifted equities in recent weeks, with the S&P 500 hovering near a 28-month high. JPMorgan has risen 4.8 percent since the start of January, and was down 0.4 percent to $44.28 in volatile premarket trading.

* China raised bank reserve requirements, offering more evidence that its central bank was preparing to allow economic growth to slow as it battles inflation.

* Intel Corp added to the optimism over earnings after posting better-than-expected quarterly profits late Thursday. The technology bellwether also forecast strong revenues for the coming quarter. Intel, a Dow component, rose 2.1 percent to $21.73 in premarket trading and helped limit losses in Nasdaq futures.

* A pair of datapoints on the consumer will be closely watched by investors. December retail sales, to be released at 8:30 a.m. EST, are seen rising 0.8 percent, matching the previous month.

* The preliminary Reuters/University of Michigan January sentiment number will be released at 9:55 a.m., and is seen edging up to 75.4 from 74.5 in the previous month.

* S&P 500 futures fell 5.1 points and were below 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 fell 53 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 3 points.

* French drugmaker Sanofi-Aventis SA hopes to reach a takeover deal that would value U.S. target Genzyme at around $76 per share, or some $20 billion, the French daily Le Figaro reported. Genzyme shares closed at $72.36.

* Bristol-Myers Squibb Co has recalled 64 million tablets of the blood pressure medicine Avalide in the United States and Puerto Rico, marking the second major recall of the medicine in less than four months. The stock closed at $25.90.

* U.S. stocks edged lower Thursday, hurt by a slide in drugmaker Merck & Co Inc and as falling commodities prices hit shares of natural resource companies.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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