Stock Futures Gain as Weak Jobs Data Fuels Stimulus Forecasts, Delta Pops

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were edging higher Tuesday as investors balanced upbeat earnings from Delta Air Lines (DAL) and Travelers Companies (TRV) with a worse than expected government job creation report that fueled expectations that the Federal Reserve will delay any tapering until early 2014 at the earliest. Apple (AAPL) shares were also providing a boost, rising ahead of its iPad event in San Francisco.

Futures for the S&P 500 were up 5.75 points, or 4.94 points above fair value, to 1,744. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were ahead by 52 points, or 40.35 points above fair value, to 15,374. Futures for the Nasdaq were up 13.3 points, or 21.07 points above fair value, to 3,367.3.

Delta Air Lines shares were advancing 3.8% to $25.62 after beating earnings estimates, reducing debt, paying a dividend and buying back shares. The moves were underscoring its commitment to lure investors back to the airline industry.

Travelers Companies was rising 2% to $88.50 after the insurance company exceeded third-quarter earnings expectations by 28 cents at $2.35 a share as underwriting margins strengthened. The company also added $5 billion to its share repurchase program.

Netflix (NFLX) reported third-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates and the streaming video company said it topped 40 million total subscribers.  Shares were jumping 10.99% to $394.

United Technologies (UTX), the world's largest maker of elevators and air conditioners, was falling 0.58% to $107, after surpassing third-quarter earnings by a penny at $1.55 a share on worse than expected sales amdi the ongoing weakness in military aerospace markets and slow pace of recovery in Europe. The company is now expecting full year sales of about $63 billion, down from the previous estimate of $64 billion.

duPont (DD) shares were edging down 0.15% to $59.37 after the chemicals company posted third-quarter earnings of 45 cents a share, topping expectations by four cents, on revenue that matched estimates. Robust results at the company's divisions that produce solar panel parts and bullet proof vests offset weakness at its Performance Chemicals unit during the quarter.

Apple is holding an iPad event Tuesday in San Francisco at which its expected to refresh the company's second-largest driver of revenue, behind the iPhone. Apple's iPad-centric event could be its most important since the original iPad was announced, according to Cantor Fitzgerald analyst Brian White. Shares were edging up 0.46% to $523.77. Shares were rising 1.12% to $527.19.

The U.S. work force added 148,000 jobs in September, the Labor Department said Tuesday. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 7.2% from 7.3% the previous month. Economists, on average, were expecting an addition of 180,000 jobs and the unemployment rate is expected to stay at 7.3%, according to a Thomson Reuters poll of economists.

Also expected for Tuesday are August construction spending numbers from the Census Bureau at 10 a.m.. Originally scheduled for October 1, they were also pushed back.

The FTSE in London was up 0.15% and the DAX in Germany was down 0.06%. The Nikkei 225 in Japan finished up 0.13% and the Hong Kong Hang Seng closed down by 0.52%.

December crude oil contracts were down 28 cents to $99.40 a barrel and December gold futures were down $3.70 to $1,312.10 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was surging 20/32, diluting the yield to 2.536%. The dollar was up 0.05% to $79.74 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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