Futures Rise as Investors Learn to Live With Tapering

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open Thursday as investors begin to accept that the Federal Reserve will move to further taper its monthly bond purchasing program despite mixed economic indicators.

The central bank's determined move forward to reduce monetary stimulus not only quelled uncertainties about the future direction of the Fed's tapering plans, but also helped subdue concerns that emerging market woes will have an impact on the U.S. economy.

United Parcel Service (UPS) and Visa (V) shares were both supporting premarket gains after giving pleasing earnings announcements.

  • S&P 500 futures were up 4.75 points, or 7.65 points above fair value, to 1,776, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 42 points, or 66.21 points above fair value, to 15,740, Nasdaq futures were up 16.8 points, or 31.43 points above fair value, to 3,491.8.

  • U.S. stocks tumbled Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it will reduce its bond-buying by $10 billion, bringing down the size of the economic stimulus program to $65 billion. The Fed made no references to volatility in the emerging markets as it announced its decision.

  • Visa was popping 3.17% to $224 after the global payments company beat fourth-quarter expectations by four cents at $2.20 a share on stronger than expected revenue.

  • Exxon Mobil (XOM) was off 0.74% to $94.41 after the oil major reported a 16% decline in fourth-quarter earnings to $8.35 billion, or $1.91 a share, missing estimates by a penny.

  • 3M (MMM) was down 0.19% to $130 after reporting in-line earnings of $1.62 a share on sales that were a touch below forecasts.

  • UPS was rising 0.7% to $96 after the shipping giant predicted that 2014 earnings will increase 11% to 16% year-on-year.

  • Initial jobless claims rose by 19,000 in the week of Jan. 25 to 348,000, higher than the 330,000 estimate. U.S. GDP arrived as expected at an annualized 3.2%. December pending home sales will be out at 10 a.m.

  • Both Amazon.com (AMZN) and Google (GOOG) were rising more than 2% in premarket trading. Amazon is forecast by analysts after Thursday to post fourth-quarter earnings of 66 cents a share on sales of $26.06 billion. Google is predicted to report fourth-quarter earnings of $12.21 a share on revenue of more than $16.75 billion after Thursday's closing bell. On Wednesday the company reached an agreement to sell its Motorola Mobility business to Lenovo in a deal worth $2.91 billion.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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