Futures rise on wave of strong earnings

NEW YORK - U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday on a wave of strong earnings reports, including Goldman Sachs and UnitedHealth, and on expectations of good results from other bellwethers including Apple.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Tue 20 Apr 2010, 6:39 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 10:38 AM

Goldman Sachs Group Inc shares were up 0.3 percent to $164.25 in premarket trading after it said first-quarter earnings nearly doubled. The Wall Street powerhouse was charged with fraud last week, and Britain’s financial regulator started a formal enforcement investigation into Goldman on Tuesday.

“The focus from the Goldman Sachs investigation has shifted back to earnings, the true driver of markets,” said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lek Securities in New York. “Optimism about this earnings season seems to be coming back into play.”

S&P 500 futures rose 4.1 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 21 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 7.25 points.

UnitedHealth Group Inc jumped 4.9 percent $32.75 premarket after the largest U.S. health insurer by membership soared past estimates and raised its full-year earnings forecast.

Johnson & Johnson also reported its results. Shares were down in light trading.

Coca-Cola Co edged 0.2 percent lower to $55.20 in premarket trading after the company reported higher quarterly earnings.

Other major companies set to announce results include Apple Inc and Yahoo Inc.

International Business Machines Corp declined 2.1 percent to $129.50 in early trading a day after posting better-than-expected profits but disappointing gross margins.

Citigroup Inc posted its best quarterly results in nearly three years on Monday, and the stock advanced 1.4 percent to $4.95 premarket.

Retailers will be in the spotlight in an otherwise light day for economic indicators as Redbook releases its retail sales index of department and chain store sales at 8:55 a.m. EDT.

Crude oil futures topped $82 a barrel, rebounding from three-week lows, as jet fuel demand increased after European planes began flying again. A massive ash cloud originating in Iceland receded, freeing European airspace after five days of airport closures.

U.S. stocks rose on Monday as investors reassessed the potential damage of the Goldman fraud case and earnings optimism grew.

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