Wednesday, 23 January 2013 15:41
LONDON: US stock futures pointed to a slightly lower open on Wall Street on Wednesday after gains in the previous session, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 falling 0.1 to 0.2 percent.
A measure to extend the US debt limit for nearly four months moved closer to a vote and the White House said the president would sign the bill if it cleared Congress, easing uncertainty that could have threatened the US economy.
Focus will be on Apple results. Analysts on average estimate Apple's fiscal first-quarter earnings per share at $13.41, down slightly from $13.87 in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue is seen up 18 percent at $54.7 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Other major companies announcing results include Well point, McDonald's and Abbott.
Revenue from Google Inc's core Internet business outpaced many analysts' expectations during the crucial holiday quarter and advertising rates fell less than in previous periods, pushing its shares up roughly 5 percent. Google shares in Frankfurt were up 4.7 percent on Wednesday.
IBM, the world's largest technology services company, gave a better than expected 2013 outlook after a solid fourth quarter that analysts say has more to do with Big Blue's smooth execution than a vibrant tech spending environment. IBM's shares in Frankfurt were 4 percent higher on Wednesday.
The Mortgage Bankers Association releases Weekly Mortgage Market Index for the week ended Jan. 18 at 1200 GMT. The index read 836.5 and the refinancing index was 4,563.7 in the previous week.
JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon apologised to shareholders for the $6 billion loss caused by the so-called "whale" trade, calling it a "terrible mistake," but said the bank has moved on and is still highly profitable.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday he would hold a referendum before the end of 2017 to decide whether Britain remains a member of the European Union, provided he wins the next election.
ICSC/Goldman Sachs release chain store sales for the week ended Jan. 18 at 1245 GMT. In the previous week, sales fell 0.6 percent.
Redbook releases its index of department and chain store sales for January at 1355 GMT. In December, sales fell 0.3 percent.
At 1455 GMT, the Institute for Supply Management Chicago releases annual revisions to its index of manufacturing activity. In December, the index read 51.6.
European shares were flat in early trading on Wednesday, with encouraging earnings reports from some companies underpinning the market.
Bank and commodity shares led the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 Index to a fresh five-year closing high on Tuesday on hopes that the global economy continues to mend.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 62.51 points, or 0.46 percent, to 13,712.21 at the close on Tuesday. The S&P 500 gained 6.58 points, or 0.44 percent, to 1,492.56. The Nasdaq Composite added 8.47 points or 0.27 percent, to 3,143.18.
Copyright Reuters, 2013