Stock futures gain, focus on JPMorgan results

By @ibtimes on

Stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones and Nasdaq 100 up 0.3 to 0.4 percent.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co is expected to post an increase in first-quarter profit of more than 50 percent on Wednesday, as the bank weathers a slowdown in trading and fewer borrowers default on credit card loans.

Analysts on average expect the second-largest U.S. bank earned $1.16 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. That compares with a year-earlier profit of 74 cents a share.

* Commerce Department releases March retail sales at 1230 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a 0.5 percent rise compared with a 1.0 percent increase in February. Excluding automobiles, sales are seen up 0.7 percent, a repeat of the February increase.

* President Barack Obama is expected on Wednesday to push for higher taxes for the rich and changes to government pension and healthcare plans as criticism swells over his leadership on cutting a bloated deficit.

* The Mortgage Bankers Association releases at 1100 GMT Weekly Mortgage Market Index for the week ended April 8, versus the prior week. The mortgage market index read 475.7 and the refinancing index was 2.084.1 in the previous week.

* Deutsche Bank is planning to restructure its U.S. operations to skirt financial regulations that could force it to raise billions of dollars, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Tuesday.

* At 1400 GMT, Commerce Department issues Business Inventories for February. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a rise of 0.8 percent versus a 0.9 percent rise in the prior month.

* French engineering group Schneider Electric moved to quash rumors of a planned takeover of Tyco International , saying it was not currently in talks with the U.S.-based conglomerate.

A person with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday Schneider had held early talks with Tyco about buying it. The UK's Daily Telegraph had earlier said a deal could be worth $30 billion.

* The Federal Reserve releases its Beige Book of regional economic conditions at 1800 GMT.

* World no. 2 gold producer Newmont Mining has acquired a 6.7 percent stake in Australian uranium miner Paladin Energy , following the completion of Newmont's $2.3 billion takeover of Fronteer Gold.

* Brent crude rebounded to above $122 a barrel, halting a two-day decline, on fears that the Libya conflict could settle into a bloody stalemate, while a sudden disruption in Kuwaiti oil exports boosted sentiment.

* St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard told Reuters Insider in an interview that the U.S. Federal Reserve has yet to decide how it will start to reverse its unprecedented rescue of the U.S. economy and is likely to take several months before making its first moves.

* Tokyo shares <.N225> rose 0.9 percent, recouping some of the previous day's losses. European shares gained 0.3 percent, with investors buying mining stocks.

* On Wednesday, the Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 117.53 points, or 0.95 percent, at 12,263.58. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 10.30 points, or 0.78 percent, at 1,314.16. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was down 26.72 points, or 0.96 percent, at 2,744.79.

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; Editing by Mike Nesbit)

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