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Futures Inch Higher Amid Bank Earnings; Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) Tumbles

 October 12, 2012 09:08 AM

(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a modestly higher open on the Wall Street as investors digested earnings from banking giants JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Mini Dow Industrial Average futures rose 24 points to 13,289. The Nasdaq futures inched up 4.50 points to 2,717.75. Standard and Poor's 500 futures gained 3.10 points to 1,431.50.

On the domestic data front, the U.S. Labor Department said core producer price index was unchanged in September, while economists expected an increase of 0.2 percent. The headline index gained 1.1 percent, better than estimates of a rise of 0.7 percent. In August, producer prices and core producer prices rose 1.7 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively.

At 9.55 am ET, the University of Michigan survey of consumer sentiment may show the index to have edged down to 78.0 for September from 78.3 in the prior month.

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On Thursday, U.S. stocks ended on a flat note after the early euphoria over sharp drop in jobless claims faded as those numbers may have reflected a distortion due to seasonal factors.

Hot Stocks Of The Day: JPM, WFC, AMD, ECL, JBHT, NPSP, IGTE, ET

In corporate news, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) shares may be in focus after the banking giant posted a jump in quarterly earnings and revenue topped market expectations. Quarterly earnings included items: pretax benefit totaling 28 cents, charge-offs of 13 cents and 11 cents related to pretax expense.

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Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC) retreated 2.84 percent in premarket after the bank reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue. Earnings per share (EPS) increased 22 percent to 88 cents, topping market expectations by a penny. Revenue was $21.21 billion, up 8.0 percent from the same period of last year but fell 0.4 percent from the prior quarter. Wall Street analysts, on average, expected a revenue increase of 9.40 percent.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE:AMD) tumbled 8.44 percent in premarket after the chip maker reduced its revenue forecast for the third quarter, citing weaker-than-expected demand across all product lines caused by the challenging macroeconomic environment.

Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) lifted its earnings forecast for the third quarter, and the provider of cleaners and sanitizers agreed to acquire privately-held Champion Technologies for roughly $2.2 billion in a cash and stock deal.

J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. (NASDAQ:JBHT) jumped 5.15 percent in premarket after the company posted an increase in earnings and revenue for the third quarter.

NPS Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:NPSP) gained 13.36 percent in premarket. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) Gastrointestinal Drugs Advisory Committee will review on October 16 the safety and efficacy of GATTEX (teduglutide) for the proposed indication of treatment of adults with short bowel syndrome (SBS).

iGATE Corp. (NASDAQ:IGTE) added 9.37 percent in premarket after the IT services company reported stronger-than-forecast earnings for the third quarter.

ExactTarget Inc. (NYSE:ET) may be in focus after the company said it currently expects revenue of at least $72.0 million and adjusted net loss better than $3.0 million for the third quarter. The provider of interactive marketing software-as-a-service (SaaS) services had earlier forecast revenue to be $71.0 to $72.0 million and adjusted net loss to be $3.0 million to $4.0 million.

Global Markets:

European markets traded flat, with Germany's DAX edging 0.02 percent lower to trade at 7,280.57. France's CAC40 inched up 0.02 percent to trade at 3,414.41. U.K.'s FTSE 100 shed 0.09 percent to trade at 5,824.29.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index inched up 0.10 percent to end at 2,104.93. Japan's Nikkei 225 shed 0.15 percent to finish at 8.534.12. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.65 percent to close at 21,136.43. India's BSE Sensex finished at 18,675.18, down 0.69 percent.

Commodity & Currency Scan:

Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures added 0.12 percent to $92.18 per barrel. Gold futures dipped 0.01 percent to $1,770.4 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro gained 0.39 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2979. The British pound added 0.24 percent against the greenback to 1.6084, and the dollar rose 0.03 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.3700.



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