Earnings Reports Boost Wall Street Confidence

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Premarket futures indicated a higher open for stocks in New York ahead of the latest data on the U.S. consumer as a round of earnings reports boosted Wall Street's confidence.

Futures for the S&P 500 up 5.2 points, at 1034.5, and were 4.37 points above fair value. Futures for the Nasdaq edged up 7 points, to 1646, and were 4.91 points atop fair value.

Stocks eked out gains Thursday after a rocky start as stocks initially fell despite a less severe decline than expected in production. All three major indices were positive for the week heading into Friday's session, which should bring a more current picture of the U.S. consumer.

July personal income and spending data are due out at 8:30 a.m. EDT, to be followed by the revised August consumer sentiment reading from the University of Michigan. Expectations are for a slight improvement in income and sentiment, but also a lesser increase in spending compared to June.

Meanwhile, earnings late Thursday and early Friday helped reinvigorate the bulls.

Dell ( DELL), which accidentally released its results early on its Web site, topped expectations . Chipmaker Marvell ( MRVL) also blew past analysts' estimates, despite taking a revenue and profit hit.

Outside of the tech space, J. Crew ( JCG) and Paris-based L'Oreal ( OR) also posted better-than-expected profits for the recent quarter and first six months in 2009, respectively, and estimated that sales will continue to improve.

In other news, China Unicom ( CHU) said Friday it reached a three-year agreement to sell Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone in China, the world's largest mobile phone market.

Stocks overseas were mixed to lower. In Europe, London's FTSE 100 and the DAX in Frankfurt were rising 1% and 1.3%, respectively. In Asia, the Nikkei in Japan rose 0.6%, and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong edged down 0.7%.

Crude oil futures were rising 73 cents to $73.22 a barrel, while gold was adding $4.60, to $951.90.

-- Written by Elizabeth Trotta in New York.

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