(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on the Wall Street following stronger-than-forecast earnings from Citigroup and rise in monthly retail sales.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures rose 49 points to 13,2940. The Nasdaq futures advanced 17.50 points to 2,727.50. Standard and Poor's 500 futures gained 6.90 points to 1,428.40.
On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department reported retail sales and core retail sales rose 1.1 percent for September. Core retail sales topped economists expectations of a 0.6 percent rise. Core retail sales measures the change in the total value of sales at the retail level in the U.S., excluding automobiles.
The Empire State Manufacturing Survey indicated that conditions for New York manufacturers continued to drop for a third straight month. The New York Federal Reserve's empire state manufacturing index improved to minus 6.2 from minus 10.4 in September, while economists expected a reading of minus 4.5.
Earnings are likely to be in the spotlight this week with Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT), Coca-Cola, (KO) Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and General Electric (GE) due to announce their quarterly results.
On Friday, U.S. stocks closed on a slightly lower note as investors weighed earnings from banking giants JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC).
Hot Stocks Of The Day: C, S, AMD, TXN, CNX, GCI
In corporate news, Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) gained 2.30 percent in premarket after reporting better-than-estimated earnings for the third quarter. The bank reported third-quarter EPS of $1.06 and revenue of $19.4 billion, excluding the impact of negative credit valuation adjustment (CVA)/ debt valuation adjustment (DVA) and a loss related to the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (MSSB) joint venture.
Sprint Nextel Corp. (NYSE: S) rose 2.27 percent in premarket after Japan telecoms company SoftBank agreed to acquire a 70 percent stake in the U.S. based company for $20.1 billion.
Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) may cut upto 20 percent of its jobs, days after the chipmaker reduced its revenue forecast for the third quarter, citing weaker-than-expected demand across all product lines caused by the challenging macroeconomic environment. All Things D reported that the job cuts are expected to be announced as early as next week. Shares rose 1.46 percent in premarket.
Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) added 1.91 percent in premarket. Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist reported that Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) is in advanced discussions to acquire the mobile chip business of Texas Instruments for its Kindle tablets.
CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) shed 2.68 percent in premarket after the producer of coal and natural gas, forecast a loss for the third quarter, citing a combination of marketing and operational issues. CFO William Lyons said the company's planned and unplanned mine idlings took their toll on third quarter earnings.
Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE: GCI) may be in focus after the media company reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped market expectations.
European markets traded in green amid optimism that Spain would soon seek a bailout, with Germany's DAX adding 0.84 percent to trade at 7,692.00. France's CAC40 rose 1.37 percent to trade at 3,435.50. U.K.'s FTSE 100 gained 0.53 percent to trade at 5,824.31.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index slid 0.30 percent to end at 2,098.70. Japan's Nikkei 225 added 0.51 percent to finish at 8.577.93. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index inched up 0.06 percent to close at 21,148.25. India's BSE Sensex finished at 18,713.55, up 0.21 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures dipped 0.02 percent to $91.84 per barrel. Gold futures dropped 0.76 percent to $1,746.4 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro gained 0.08 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2979. The British pound fell 0.09 percent against the greenback to 1.6059, while the dollar rose 0.50 percent against the Japanese yen to 78.8200.