U.S. stock-index futures advanced, suggesting the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will rebound from yesterdays losses, as investors speculated that government would cut its bond-purchasing policy as soon as March 2014.
S&P 500 futures expiring in December rose 0.5% to 1,747.4 at 12:01 p.m. in London. The benchmark index has gained 3.9% this month, extending the 2013 advance to 22%, as lawmakers agreed to extend the U.S. borrowing authority, avoiding a possible debt default. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts added 44 points, or 0.3%, to 15,395 today.
“There’s more to come from the U.S market,” said William Hobbs, London-based head of equity strategy at Barclays Plc’s wealth-management unit. “In an accelerating economy, paying 15 to 16 times earnings doesnt feel like very much. We’d be happy to pay more for quality. Investors are happy to be patient and look beyond this earnings season to corporate outlooks for 2014 as medium-term expectations for growth rise.”
Economists polled by MarketWatch expect a drop in jobless claims to 337,000 from 358,000, considering recent California data processing problems. Furloughed federal workers are not going to be showed up in the headlines on claims — they are counted in a separate release. But civilian contractors who were furloughed potentially do show up in the claims data.
In corporate news, in pre-market, Symantec Corp. sank 12% after the software firm late Wednesday posted lower-than-expected results, lowered its full-year guidance and issued current-quarter guidance below analysts’ expectations.
Bank of America Corp. slipped 0.6% ahead of the open, after a federal jury on Wednesday found the bank liable for fraud related to mortgages sold by Countrywide Financial Corp. to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp., Colgate-Palmolive Co. and Ford Motor Co. are among 47 companies in the S&P 500 which are due to report results today.