Wednesday, April 13, 2011

US Stock Futures Rise After Retail Sales Data, JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) Eyed

US stock-index futures rose on Wednesday as upbeat corporate earnings bolstered investor sentiment.

At 8:39 am ET, the S&P 500 futures rose 9.80 points to 1,318.10. The Dow Jones Industrial average futures increased 89 points to 12,282. The Nasdaq Composite futures climbed 18.25 points to 2,311.25.

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that retail sales rose 0.4% in March to a seasonally adjusted $396.3 billion. Analysts, expected total sales to rise 0.5% in March. 

The Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. The report is a collection of the anecdotal observations about the state of the U.S. economy by the Federal Reserve's 12 regional banks.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) reported Wednesday that its first-quarter net income climbed to $5.6 billion, or $1.28 a share, from $3.3 billion, or 74 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue declined to $25.2 billion from $27.7 billion. Analysts, on average, expected the company to earnings of $1.15 a share on revenue of $25.2 billion. also increased its quarterly dividend to 25 cents a share from 5 cents a share.

European stocks advanced in afternoon trade. At 13:50 pm London Time, the UK FTSE rose 75.97 points, or 1.27%, to 6,040.44. The German DAX and French CAC increased 1.27% and 1.18% respectively.

Asian stocks finished higher. The Nikkei 225 rose 85.92 points, or 0.90%, to 9,641.18. The Hang Seng index of Hong Kong climbed 158.66 points, or 0.66%, to 24,135.03.

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