BY Chuck Mikolajczak
Wall Street was set for a higher open on Wednesday, boosted by solid results from Intel and JP Morgan Chase, while retail sales data provided fresh evidence of an economic recovery.
An upbeat sales forecast from top contract chipmaker TSMC <2330.TW>
JPMorgan Chase & Co
All in all, it's early in the earnings season, but it's a positive demand trend we're seeing, said Bennett Gaeger, managing director at Stifel Nicolaus in Baltimore.
It's not only pointing to a U.S. rebound, it looks like more of a global, macro rebound.
The Commerce Department reported sales at U.S. retailers rose more strongly than expected in March as total sales were up 1.6 percent versus the forecasts of a 1.2 percent increase.
Consumer prices rose 0.1 percent, matching expectations, the Labor Department said, giving the Federal Reserve a chance to keep ultra-low interest rates.
CPI remains in check, so that gives the Fed more room in terms of when to decide to change policy or raise interest rates, said Subodh Kumar, chief investment strategist at Subodh Kumar & Associates in Toronto.
Investors will also eye the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, set for release at 2 p.m. EDT for any clues into when the central bank will be adjusting its monetary policy.
S&P 500 futures rose 4.8 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 DJc1> added 47 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 11.75 points.
China's economy grew about 11.9 percent in the first quarter, topping forecasts, to expand at the fastest annual pace in nearly three years, according to two market sources.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; additional reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)