US futures rise

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IOL wall street

New York - US stock index futures rose on Friday, indicating the S&P 500 may halt a two-day losing skid, boosted by positive economic data from Europe and better-than-expected earnings from Hewlett-Packard.

* The S&P 500 has dropped 1.9 percent over the past two sessions, its worst two-day drop since early November, putting the index on pace for its first weekly decline of the year. The retreat was triggered by minutes from the Federal Reserve's January meeting released earlier in the week which suggested stimulus measures may end earlier than thought.

* Still, the index is up more than 5 percent for the year and has held the 1,500 support level.

* Hewlett-Packard Co climbed 4.7 percent to $17.90 in premarket trading after the No. 1 personal computer maker's quarterly revenue and forecasts beat Wall Street expectations as it continued to cut costs under CEO Meg Whitman's turnaround plan.

* The German Ifo business climate indicator for February rose to 107.4, its best one-month rise in more than two years, boosting optimism after Thursday's disappointing PMI data stoked concerns over the euro zone economy.

* S&P 500 futures rose 6.4 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 gained 28 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 10.5 points.

* Insurer American International Group Inc reported fourth-quarter results that beat analysts' expectations, although Chief Executive Robert Benmosche said some employee bonuses will be smaller this year because the company did not meet all of its performance targets. Shares advanced 3.8 percent to $38.68 in premarket trading.

* Marvell Technology Group Ltd rose 4.5 percent to $9.90 in premarket trade after the chipmaker forecast results this quarter that were largely above analysts' expectations as it gained market share in the hard-disk drive and flash-storage businesses.

* Fellow chipmaker Texas Instruments Inc raised its quarterly dividend by a third and said it would buy back an additional $5 billion in stock.

* According to Thomson Reuters data through Thursday morning, of 427 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results, 69.3 percent have exceeded analysts' expectations, compared with a 62 percent average since 1994 and 65 percent over the past four quarters.

* Fourth-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 5.9 percent, according to the data, above a 1.9 percent forecast at the start of the earnings season.

* European shares advanced after the better-than-expected German survey, with the pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index up 1.1 percent.

* Asian shares recouped some of the previous session's steep falls as investors reassessed concerns that the Federal Reserve may end its ultra-soft monetary policy earlier than expected, but weak US and European data capped Friday's recovery. - Reuters


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