Stock index futures point to gains

By @ibtimes on

Stock index futures pointed to a stronger opening for Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones industrial average futures and Nasdaq futures up 0.3 to 0.4 percent by 4:47 a.m. EDT.

Disappointing corporate results hit the S&P <.SPX> and the Dow <.DJI> on Tuesday, with both indexes dipping below their 50-day moving averages, but the weakness prompted some bargain hunting which helped shares recoup some losses in late trade.

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) will release minutes of its April 26-27 meeting at 2 p.m. EDT. Investors will look for further hints on the Federal Reserve's QE2 exit strategy, which is widely expected to take place in June, and will scrutinize any splits in opinion within the committee.

Some caution over the outlook for economic growth in the United States was expected to linger after the latest batch of economic data which included weak factory output and housing starts figures.

Further corporate earnings are expected to dictate short-term direction, with farm machinery maker Deere & Co , retailer Target and clothing company Abercrombie & Fitch Co among firms set to report quarterly earnings.

In company news, Dell's shares rose 5 percent in after-hours trading after the PC maker's profits exceeded expectations and it raised its fiscal 2012 outlook for operating income.

Analysts expect an initial public offering by social networking firm LinkedIn, which is set to be priced on Wednesday, to be a stunning success but said it carries a number of risks that may shake up investors in the future.

Delphi Automotive has chosen JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs to lead an initial public offering that could value the auto parts maker at more than $10 billion, sources said.

Intel's chief executive rejected speculation the world's largest chipmaker might adopt rival ARM Holdings' technology to build mobile chips and said smartphones using its silicon are about a year away.

Global sales growth of prescription drugs could be cut in half over the next five years as lucrative brands lose patent protection and cheaper generics and emerging markets become the only significant growth drivers, according to IMS Health.

In Europe, the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of top shares rose in early trade as investors bought beaten-down miners and oil majors as commodity prices rebounded on the back of a broadly weaker dollar.

(Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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