Stock Futures Eye 1,700 as Ford, Apple Advance

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to a higher open on Wall Street Wednesday as Apple ( AAPL) and other bellwether stocks climbed as earnings beat forecasts and the Eurozone economy appeared to be emerging from a recession.

Futures for the S&P 500 were adding 4.5 points, or 5.61 points above fair value, to 1,692.75, signaling a rebound after snapping a four-day winning streak the prior session.

"The earning season thus far is not disappointing while the economic news remains in natural gear; two basic ingredients which we think will keep the bull in charge," Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York said in an emailed comment. "We see intraday corrections leading the S&P to the 1,735 level next month as the summer rally continues."

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were rising 27 points, or 35.26 points above fair value, to 15,540. Futures for the Nasdaq were gaining 28.25 points, or 29.75 points above fair value, to 3,054.25.

Apple ( AAPL) shares were advancing more than 4.5% to $439 in premarket trading after the tech giant reported third-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street expectations, as the company sold 31.2 million iPhones during the period. Apple earned $7.47 a share on revenue of $35.3 billion in its fiscal third quarter. Analysts were expecting profit of $7.32 a share in sales of $35.01 billion.

Boeing ( BA) was tacking on 2.22% to $110.18 after the aerospace manufacturer beat Wall Street estimates as commercial aircraft deliveries rose. Boeing increased its full-year core earnings guidance to between $6.20 and $6.40 a share and increased its revenue guidance to between $83 billion and $86 billion. Analysts had been estimating $6.51 a share and revenue of $84.1 billion.

Ford ( F) was popping more than 3% to $17.48 after the automaker reported second-quarter improvements in every business unit and profits everywhere but Europe. The automaker said it earned $1.2 billion, or 30 cents a share, in line with estimates. Revenue rose 14% to $38.1 billion. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had estimated $35.2 billion.

Caterpillar ( CAT) was slipping 1.06% to $84.61 after the heavy machinery maker disappointed with its full-year outlook after posting second-quarter earnings that fell far short of expectations of $1.70 a share at $1.45 a share; revenues were also a disappointment amid $1 billion of dealer machine inventory reductions.

Facebook ( FB) was gaining 0.73% to $26.32. The social networking giant is expected to post after Wednesday's closing bell second-quarter earnings of 14 cents a share on revenue of $1.62 billion. Investors will be focused Wednesday on signs that Facebook can keep growing advertising revenue, especially on mobile devices.

Credit card company Visa ( V) is expected by Wall Street to earn $1.79 a share in its fiscal third quarter on revenue of $2.89 billion. The company reports after the markets close. Shares were up 0.69% to $189.89.

In the Eurozone, a report provided evidence that the region is climbing on of recession. Financial information services company Markit reported Tuesday that its "flash" Eurozone Composite Purchasing Managers' Index based on a very wide survey of companies showed a surprise return to growth in the private sector. The index rose to an 18-month high of 50.4 in July from 48.7 in June. This is the index's first rise above the 50 level dividing growth and contraction since January 2012. The report also showed its preliminary data on the Eurozone Manufacturing PMI rise to a 24-month high at 50.1.

These headlines were offsetting the Markit report about a decline in Chinese manufacturing to an 11-month low in July given that a slowing Chinese economy has largely been a result of sluggish European demand.

In more heartening news, manufacturing growth picked up to four-month high in July according to the Markit Flash U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index released Wednesday.

At 10 a.m. EDT, the Census Bureau is forecast by economists to report that new home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 482,000 in June from 476,000 in May.

The FTSE 100 was gaining 0.81% and the DAX in Germany was increasing 1.07%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng closed up 0.24%. The Nikkei 225 in Japan settled down 0.32%.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was slipping 15/32, raising the yield to 2.568%.The dollar was rising 0.16% to $82.08 according to the U.S. dollar index.

September crude oil futures were down 12 cents to $107.11 a barrel. August gold futures were rising $4.40 to $1,339.10 an ounce.

Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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