Market Hustle: Futures Gain Strength on Upbeat Retail Sales

NEW YORK (The Street) -- U.S. stock futures were gaining strength Tuesday following yesterday's heavy sell-off as the latest consumer spending numbers, December retail sales, were higher than forecast, indicating a pick-up in economic momentum.

  • S&P 500 futures were rising 3.75 points, or 5.6 points above fair value, to 1,818.75, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were adding 27 points, or 52.06 points above fair value, to 16,241, Nasdaq futures were advancing 8.5 points, or 12.2 points above fair value, to 3,518.

  • December retail sales rose by a better than expected 0.7% excluding autos and 0.2% overall, the Census Bureau said.

  • The government's U.S. import price index was unchanged in December as global inflationary pressures stayed subdued.

  • Business inventories will be released at 10 a.m.

  • Fourth-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 are, on average, expected to increase 5.32% year over year with an EPS of $27.76, according to S&P Capital IQ.

  • S&P Capital IQ said analysts anticipate that nine sectors will post earnings growth in the fourth quarter, with telecom (78.3%) and financials (13.04%) leading the growth. Sectors expected to be the biggest laggards this quarter are energy (-8.3%) and utilities (-5.6%).

  • Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser speaks at 12:45 p.m., and Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher at 1:20 p.m. They'll be watched for talk on the economic outlook and current pace of Fed tapering.

  • JPMorgan Chase (JPM) was up 0.14% to $57.78 as the bank's fourth-quarter profit fell 7% from a year ago. Adjusted earnings were $1.40 per share, beating estimates by five cents.

  • Wells Fargo's (WFC) earnings report showed that it ended 2014 as America's most profitable bank, surpassing profits at JPMorgan. The report however noted that fourth-quarter net interest margin at the bank fell 12 basis points to 3.26%. Shares were dipping 0.68% to $45.25.

  • Google (GOOG) was rising 1.31% to $1,137.65 after announcing on Monday an agreement to purchase Nest Labs, the maker of smart fire alarms and thermostats, for $3.2 billion in cash.

  • International markets were mostly weak on the heels of the U.S. selloff Monday. Japan's Nikkei 225 plunged 3.08% to 15,422.40.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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