U.S. stock futures were mostly higher as better-than-expected results from Caterpillar and Boeing and a rebound in Spanish stocks helped distract investors from a rare disappointment from Apple and some weak data out of Europe.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures ran up 120 points, or 1%, to 12644. The Dow on Tuesday fell 104.14 points, or 0.8%, to suffer a third-consecutive triple-digit loss, the longest such streak in over 10 months.
Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index futures gained 6 points, or 0.5%, to 1336. Meanwhile, the futures for the technology-friendly Nasdaq 100 slipped 8 points, or 0.3%, to 2540. Changes in stock futures do not always accurately predict stock moves after the opening bell.
Shares of Apple slumped 4.5% in premarket trading after the consumer electronics giant reported fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenue that missed analyst estimates, as provided by FactSet, as iPhone sales disappointed. That marked only the second time in the past 39 quarters that results missed expectations.
European stocks halted a three-session drop on Wednesday, after European Central Bank policymaker Ewald Nowotny raised the prospect of steps that could boost the firepower of the euro zone’s new bailout fund.
Mr. Nowotny said there are arguments for giving Europe’s permanent rescue fund a banking licence, an idea that the ECB has rejected so far, sparking a rebound in the euro and in Spanish and Italian shares which had plummeted about 10 percent in the past three sessions.
France has been behind a push to give Europe’s ESM bailout fund a banking licence as a way of tapping cheap ECB funding to take more aggressive action in the debt market crisis. The ECB has repeatedly rejected the idea, arguing it would be thinly disguised monetary financing of governments.
At 1126 GMT, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.2 per cent at 1,020.56 points, reversing early losses, while the euro zone’s blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index was up 0.9 per cent at 2,170.15 points.
Spain’s IBEX was up 2.1 per cent and Italy’s FTSE MIB 1.8 per cent, with Banco Santander up 2.5 per cent and UniCredit up 3.2 percent.
About a fifth of major European companies have reported results so far this earnings season, with half missing analysts’ forecasts, Thomson Reuters Starmine data shows, and the worst showings in telecoms, materials and industrials.
“The slowdown in the global economic growth remains moderate but it has started to drag companies’ results and outlooks, which had been quite resilient so far,” Barclays France director Franklin Pichard said.
With files from AP