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Stocks Futures Digest P&G, Boeing, Weak Durable Goods Report

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to a mixed open Wednesday as investors digested earnings reports from Boeing (BA - Get Report) and Procter & Gamble (PG - Get Report) along with data showing weakness in U.S. economic activity.

The Census Bureau reported that durable goods orders fell 5.7% in March after rising 5.7% in February. Orders excluding the transportation component slid 1.4%. Economists polled by Thomson Reuters, on average, estimated durable goods orders would fall 2.8% and that core durable goods orders would rise 0.5%.

"A disappointing report that was significantly weaker than our expectations," noted John Ryding and Conrad DeQuadros, economists at RDQ Economics in New York. "This report raises further questions about whether the pace of manufacturing growth is slackening as the economy heads into the second quarter."

Boeing was gaining 3.2% in premarket trading to $91 after the aerospace giant exceeded first-quarter expectations with earnings of $1.73 a share on revenue of $18.9 billion as higher deliveries on the Boeing 737 and Boeing 777 models offset lower 787 Dreamliner deliveries.

Procter & Gamble was tumbling 3.5% to $79.65 after the consumer goods behemoth predicted fiscal fourth-quarter earnings of 69 cents to 77 cents a share, short of Wall Street's 81 cent target.

Futures for the S&P 500 were unchanged, or 0.17 points above fair value, to 1,573.5. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were rising 14 points, or 5.54 points above fair value, to 14,658.

Futures for the Nasdaq were down 3 points, or 8.32 points below fair value, to 2,820.

U.S. stocks indexes closed near session highs Tuesday after a Twitter hacking event sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average crashing by nearly as many points as there are characters in a single tweet.

"One of the main reasons for the market rally is the continued easing policies from the Federal Reserve," Brian Amidei, HighTower Palm Desert's managing director and partner, said in an emailed comment. "This has allowed the markets to disregard some of the less than positive economic reports that we have seen over the last several months."

"We do not see the Fed changing its policy over the summer so we believe that after the short-term volatility we are seeing markets will be higher at years end, " Amidei said.

AT&T (T - Get Report) posted first-quarter revenue Tuesday that missed Wall Street estimates as the Apple (AAPL - Get Report) iPhone partner sold 6 million smartphones -- a first-quarter record. AT&T added 1.2 million postpaid smartphone subscribers during the quarter. The company said that 72% of its postpaid phone subscribers had smartphones, up from 61% in the year ago quarter. Shares were off 4.21% to $37.36.

Apple (AAPL - Get Report) was falling 3.45% to $392.30 after the iPhone, iPad and iPod maker reported Tuesday second-quarter results that met analyst expectations as iPad sales rose 65% year-over-year to 19.5 million units per year. The company sold 37.4 million iPhones in the quarter compared to 35.1 million in the year-ago quarter.

Apple said it would buy back an additional $50 billion in stock, raising its total outlay for share repurchases to more than $60 billion. Apple also raised its quarterly dividend to $3.05 a share, an increase of 15% over its previous level.

For the fiscal third quarter, Apple said it expects revenue between $33.5 billion and $35.5 billion, with gross margins between 36% and 37%.

Yum Brands (YUM) was jumping 4.5% in premarket trading to $67.01 after the owner of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell posted adjusted earnings in the first quarter of 70 cents a share; analysts were looking for 60 cents.

June crude oil futures were adding 71 cents to $89.89 on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while June gold futures were jumping $12.50 to $1,421.30 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was down 3/32, raising the yield to 1.724%. The dollar was down 0.14% to $82.94 according to the U.S. dollar index.

Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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

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