Futures Jump Amid Headline Deluge


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Strong U.S. and U.K. economic reports sent futures higher after two-straight down days as traders parsed through a slew of quarterly earnings from major companies.

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Today's Markets

As of 8:41 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 48 points to 13069, S&P 500 futures gained 6.8 points to 1412 and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 15.8 points to 2666.

The major market averages are on a two-day losing streak, having tumbled on Tuesday and then failed to hold on to gains the following day. Corporate earnings have come squarely into focus, and a bevy of big-name players are set to report on the day.

Ahead of the opening bell in New York, Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) posted mixed results. The consumer products giant posted a core fiscal-first quarter profit of $1.06 a share, which excludes 10 cents in non-core charges, beating expectations of 96 cents a share. Sales came in at $20.7 billion, slightly shy of estimates of $20.78 billion.

Energy heavyweight ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) and  telecommunications provide Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) beat on the bottom line as well. On the other end of the spectrum, airline operator United Continental (NYSE:UAL) missed on profit and sales.

Then after the closing bell, Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), the world's biggest publicly-traded company, is set to report its earnings. As a result of  its nearly $600 billion market capitalization, the iPhone maker's shares often have an outsized affect on the broader markets, particularly the tech-heavy Nasdaq. Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and insurer Chubb (NYSE:CB) are among companies also taking the plate after 4:00 p.m. ET.

The economic calendar was quite full as well.

The Commerce Department reports orders for long-lasting goods climbed 9.9% in September from August, topping estimates of a 7.1% increase. Excluding the transportation segment, orders rose 2%, coming up short of estimates of an 0.8% gain.

The Labor Department said new claims for unemployment benefits fell to 369,000 last week from an upwardly revised 392,000 the week prior. Claims were expected to fall to 370,000 from an initially reported 388,000.

A report later in the day from the National Association of Realtors is expected to show pending sales of single-family homes having risen 2.1% in September from the month before. The housing market, while still depressed by historical standards, has been showing renewed signs of life.

Also on the economic front, the British economy expanded at a pace of 1% in the third quarter, emerging from a double-dip recession. The figures came in ahead of economists forecasts of 0.6%, and a 0.4% contraction the prior quarter.

Oil prices rallied after dropping for five days in a row. The benchmark contract traded in New York gained 94 cents, or 1.1%, to $86.67 a barrel. Wholesale New York Harbor gasoline jumped 1.2% to $2.634 a gallon.

In metals, gold climbed $15.60, or 0.92%, to $1,717.

Foreign Markets

The Euro Stoxx 50 rose 0.57% to 2505, the English FTSE 100 climbed 0.31% to 5823 and the German DAX advanced 0.68% to 7242.

In Asia, the Japanese Nikkei 225 rallied 1.1% to 9055 and the Chinese Hang Seng ticked up by 0.21% to 21810.