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Stock Futures Surge Before Bernanke Speech


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were strengthening Friday, pointing to a sharply higher open for Wall Street amid confidence that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will hint at more accommodation for the economy during his speech on monetary policy Friday at the annual Jackson, Wyo., economic symposium.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were rising 113 points, or 106.29 points above fair value, at 13,095. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 12.90 points, or 12.02 points above fair value, at 1410. Futures for the Nasdaq were ahead by 27.50 points, or 28.76 points above fair value, at 2781.

Paul Donovan, global economist at UBS, cautioned ahead of Bernanke's speech that "those hoping for hints as to September policy action are likely to be disappointed. Hoping for a hint of the September FOMC outcome is probably wishing for the wrong thing anyway."

"The value of the Fed Chairman's speech will be if he elaborates on the philosophy of monetary policy today. Economists want to understand how policy makers perceive policy is interacting with the economy (as so much has changed), to get a better understanding of longer term policy trends."

Bernanke is set to speak at 10 a.m. EDT.

U.S. stocks finished deep in the red on Thursday, driven lower by a rekindling of worries about Europe's debt crisis and uneasiness about an upcoming speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.

At 9:45 a.m. EDT, the Chicago Institute of Supply Management is expected to report that Chicago purchasing managers index fell in August to 53.5 from 53.7 in July.

The final read on the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for August, which comes out at 9:55 a.m., is expected to stay at 73.6, the same as the preliminary read.

At 10 a.m., the Census Bureau might release data showing that factory orders rose 1.9% in July after declining 0.5% in June.

The FTSE in London was up 0.61% and the DAX in Germany was tacking on 1.34%, both steadily gaining ground even after another round of soft employment numbers out of Europe. The eurozone jobless rate hit a record high in July and the Italian unemployment rate remained elevated at a seasonally adjusted 10.7% last month.

The Hong Kong Hang Seng index closed lower by 0.36% and the Nikkei in Japan finished down 1.60% after a disappointing report on the country's July industrial production numbers.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was down 3/32, raising the yield to 1.64%. The greenback was down 0.64%, according to the dollar index.

October crude oil futures were up 76 cents at $95.38 a barrel and December gold futures were rising $6.80 at $1,663.90 an ounce.

In corporate news, Google (GOOG) CEO Larry Page and Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook have been conducting behind-the-scenes talks about a range of intellectual property matters, including the mobile patent disputes between the companies, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Meanwhile, a Tokyo court on Friday dismissed Apple's claim that Samsung had infringed on its patent, the latest ruling in the global fight of the two tech giants.

Google shares were up 0.78% and Apple shares were rising 0.5% in premarket trading.

JPMorgan Chase (JPM), a major player in providing clearing and settlement services to other financial firms, is reviewing its dealings with dozens of brokerages that use the bank to settle trades, according to people familiar with the bank, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Shares were up 1%.

Splunk (SPLK) reported a narrower-than-expected fiscal second-quarter loss on Thursday with revenue 12% ahead of analysts' estimates.

The data software specialist also raised its revenue outlook for the full year to between $183 million and $186 million, up from a prior range of $174 million to $177 million.

Shares were surging more than 14.5%.

OmniVision Technologies ( OVTI ), the maker of advanced digital imaging products, said it expects non-GAAP earnings of 21 cents to 37 cents a share for its fiscal second quarter ending in October on revenue of $355 million to $390 million.

Analysts are looking for a profit of 33 cents a share in the quarter on revenue of $268.6 million.

Shares were gaining more than 9.5%.

Zumiez ( ZUMZ ), the specialty retailer, provided weak guidance for its fiscal third quarter.

Zumiez said it expects earnings of 42 cents to 45 cents a share on revenue of $181 million to $185 million for the October-ending quarter, well below the current consensus view for a profit of 56 cents a share on revenue of $183.8 million.

Shares were falling nearly 10%.


--Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Andrea Tse.

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