US stock index futures advance amid better-than-forecast corporate earnings

U.S. stock-index futures climbed, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose last month, as investors closely examined company earnings and focused on this week’s releases on employment and economic growth.

Futures on the S&P 500 expiring in December gained 0.1% to 1,756.9 at 11:55 a.m. in London. The benchmark index covering 500 stocks jumped 4.5% in October as the Federal Reserve decided to extend the $85 billion bond purchases. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts rose 20 points, less than 0.1%, to 15,562 today. Nasdaq technology benchmark added 10 points, or 0.3%.

Investors are following closely economic data to measure the condition of the U.S. economy after the Federal Reserve last week said it needs to see more evidence of sustained improvement before reducing the pace of its monthly bond purchases.

“The market’s Kryptonite is early taper talk at the moment, and this first full week of November has the potential for it to be hurled at it from all directions with no shortage of U.S. economic data on the agenda, including the all-important October payrolls report and the advanced estimate of Q3 GDP,” said Jim Reid, strategist at Deutsche Bank, in a note for The Wall Street Journal.

According to Bloomberg analysts the US economy probably slowed in the third quarter and employers hired fewer workers in October. Gross domestic product grew at a 2% annualized rate after a 2.5% pace from April through June, according to the median forecast of 69 economists surveyed by Bloomberg before Commerce Department figures due Thursday.

Federal Reserve speakers are scheduled to talk later today, such as St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who is due to appear in CNBC at 7 a.m. EDT.

In corporate world, Kellogg, the largest cereal maker, soared 1.1% to $62.95 in Germany. The company is due to release earnings before market open today.

Berkshire rose 0.5% to $115.80 in Frankfurt. The company which is run by Warren Buffett said quarter ending November 1 climbed 29% in profit due to investments and gains at non-insurance businesses including railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

BlackBerry added 2.8% to $7.99. Fairfax has a deadline until 5 p.m. in Toronto to come up with an final offer for the Canadian smartphone maker, following the preliminary takeover proposal it made six weeks ago.

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