Stock Futures Steady as Debt Ceiling Deal Awaited

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were little changed Friday following Thursday's big surge as signs of constructive discussions in Washington bolstered confidence the government won't allow the U.S. to default on its debt obligations.

Futures for the S&P 500 were down 1.25 points, or 2.86 points below fair value, to 1,683.75 after the benchmark's biggest jump since Jan. 2.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were unchanged, or 20.07 points below fair value, to 15,033. Futures for the Nasdaq were down 0.25 points, or 9.64 points below fair value, to 3,193.25.

Wells Fargo (WFC) beat third-quarter earnings expectations as the nation's fourth largest bank by assets was able to grow its earnings for a 15th consecutive quarter. Marty Mosby, a banking analyst at Guggenheim Securities said the bank will continue to show sequential growth in its earnings per share and that while he expects Wells Fargo's mortgage origination activity to drop substantially from second-quarter levels, those declines will likely be offset by expense reductions and credit quality. Shares were slipping 2.03% to $40.50.

Excluding one-time items, JPMorgan (JPM) reported $5.8 billion in net income, or $1.42 in earnings per share, which beat bottom-line profitability estimates of $1.30. The bank's $23.9 billion in revenue fell slightly short of consensus Wall Street forecasted closer to $24 billion, according to Bloomberg data. Shares were up 1.1% to $53.10.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) shares were gaining 0.82% to $88.50 after Goldman Sachs upgraded shares to "neutral" from "sell" and raised the price target to $95 from $87 saying that the company's pharmaceutical business has exceeded expectations this year driven by the strong launches of treatments Xarelto, Invokana, and Zytiga.

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) was up 0.72% to $439.01 after Janney Capital raised shares to "buy" from "neutral" with a $525 price target following checks indicating third-quarter same-store sales growth of 5.8% compared with the Wall Street target of 4.6%. Janney also cited ample opportunities for the company to expand its breakfast offerings, lower 2014 commodity costs, and customer satisfaction.

The Reuters/University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index report is expected to be out at 9:55 a.m. EDT and will provide a glimpse into the psychological impact of the tension in Washington as the government shutdown heads into its 11th day.

On Thursday evening, during a 90 minute discussion, House Republicans proposed a temporary, six-week increase to the debt limit so that the U.S. may keep borrowing money to pay its bills while a bigger deficit reduction deal was discussed. The president said he was open to further discussions and also urged for an immediate end to the government shutdown.

The FTSE 100 in London was rising 0.7% and the DAX in Germany was up 0.34%. The Hong Kong Hang Seng gained 1.16% while the Nikkei 225 in Japan increased 1.48%.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was down 2/32, raising the yield to 2.691%. The dollar was down 0.17% to $80.28 according to the U.S. dollar index.

November crude oil futures were falling $1.23 to $101.78 a barrel and December gold contracts were dropping $11.30 to $1,285.60 an ounce.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York

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

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