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Stock Futures Hold Gains After Jobless, Durable Goods Data


NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures held onto gains Thursday after mixed jobless claims and durable-goods orders reports.

Investors were now eyeing earnings from Apple (AAPL), the world's most valuable company, and more housing data later Thursday.

Procter & Gamble (PG) shares were rising more than 1% after the consumer-products giant posted fiscal first-quarter profit of $1.06 a share a share, beating the average analyst estimate of 96 cents a share, and reiterated its full-year earnings projections as the company focuses on cost reductions and sharpening its presence in key markets.

Revenue came in at $20.74 billion, below the consensus forecast of $20.78 billion.

Sprint Nextel (S) shares were up more than 1% after the company posted a narrowerr-than-expected third-quarter loss of 26 cents a share, amid a loss of customers from the iDen network that it is winding down and heavy investments on a network upgrade.

Revenue came in at $8.76 billion. Analysts, on average, were expecting loss of 43 cents a share on revenue of $8.81 billion.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 55 points, or 65.66 points above fair value, at 13,076. Futures for the S&P 500 were up 7.20 points, or 9.10 points above fair value, at 1412. Futures for the Nasdaq were up 16.25 points, or 18.25 points above fair value, at 2666.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that initial jobless claims in the week ended Oct. 20 came in at 369,000, a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised figure of 392,000.

The four-week moving average was 368,000, an increase of 1,500 from the previous week's revised average of 366,500.

Continuing claims for the week ended Oct. 13 came in at 3.254 million, a decrease of 2,000 from the prior week's upwardly revised level of 3.256 million.

Economists, on average, were expecting initial jobless claims of 370,000 and continuing claims of 3.255 million.

Durable-goods orders rose 9.9% in September after a decline by an upwardly revised 13.1% in August.

Excluding the transportation component, orders increased 2% versus a downwardly revised 2.1% fall the prior month.

On average, economists expected durable goods orders to rise 7.1% in September and 0.8% when factoring out the transportation component.

"A bit of a mixed picture with durables orders with the headline reading proving a strong rebound while demand for capital goods stagnated in September," said Andrew Wilkinson, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak.

"This is a pretty disappointing duo all things considered, with claims revised higher for the nonfarm payrolls survey week. But it's the components to durable goods which is a real disappointment with drops to the core orders and shipments," said David Ader, strategist at CRT.

The National Association of Realtors is expected by economists to say at 10 a.m. EDT that pending home sales rose 2.1% in September after falling 2.6% in August.

The FTSE in London was rising 0.4% and the DAX in Germany was up 0.59% after the U.K. Office for National Statistics said the region came out of a recession in the third quarter, logging more robust-than-anticipated growth of 1% as the service sector got a boost from the London Olympics.

The Nikkei Average in Tokyo closed up 1.13% on Thursday. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index finished up 0.21%.

December crude oil futures were up 56 cents at $86.29 a barrel. December gold futures were up $13.80 at $1,715.40 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was down 13/32, raising the yield to 1.837%. The dollar was down 0.19%, according to the dollar index.

Apple, the iPad, iPhone and iPod maker, is expected by analysts Thursday to post fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of $8.82 cents a share on revenue of $35.8 billion.

Apple issues its report after Thursday's closing bell.

Shares were up 0.5%.

Shares of United (UAL - Get Report) were down more than 1.5% after the world's largest airline missed analysts' earnings estimates, as unit revenue fell in every region except the Pacific.

Shares of Aetna (AET - Get Report) were up more than 2.5% after the insurance company surpassed third-quarter earnings estimates as stronger-than-anticipated sales increases offset costs tied to its Coventry Health Care acquisition and debt payments.

Amazon.com (AMZN), the Internet retailer, is seen posting a third-quarter loss of 7 cents a share, a reversal from year-earlier profit of 14 cents a share.

Shares were up 0.59%.

Zynga (ZNGA), the social gaming company, posted stronger-than-expected revenue for the third quarter on Wednesday and said it reached a deal to offer online poker and casino games, played with real money, in the U.K.

Shares were surging more than 14%.

Symantec (SYMC) skipped past Wall Street's second-quarter estimates, posting revenue of $1.7 billion, an increase of 1% from a year earlier, or a 5% hike adjusted for the effects of currency. Analysts were looking for sales of $1.66 billion.

Excluding items, Symantec, the security software specialist, earned 45 cents a share, up from 39 cents a share in the year-earlier quarter, and comfortably above analysts' forecast of 38 cents a share.

Shares were up more than 7.5%.




--Written by Andrea Tse in New York.



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

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