US STOCKS-Futures edge up as investors await earnings onslaught

by Reuters
Monday, 21 April 2014 11:35 GMT

* S&P 500 coming off biggest weekly percentage gain since July

* Earnings seen driving trading, dozens of names report this week

* Results from Netflix expected after the market close

* Futures up: Dow 22 pts, S&P 2.7 pts, Nasdaq 10 pts

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, April 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were very slightly higher on Monday as investors found few reasons to keep buying following a strong rally last week and ahead of a heavy week of corporate earnings releases.

* The S&P 500 had its best week since July last week, boosted by strong results from such names as General Electric Co and Morgan Stanley. However, thus far the earnings season has been mixed, with technology names like Google Inc and IBM struggling to impress investors.

* With less than one-fifth of S&P 500 companies having reported results so far, about 63 percent have topped earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data, exceeding the 56 percent average over the past four quarters. About 52 percent have beaten revenue forecasts, about even with the 54 percent average over the past four quarters.

* Hasbro Inc reported adjusted first-quarter earnings that topped forecasts, though revenue was below expectations. SunTrust Banks Inc also reported results early Monday.

* Advanced Micro Devices rose in light premarket trading. Late Thursday, the last session before the Good Friday trading holiday, the chipmaker posted first-quarter results that beat expectations.

* Perhaps the most eagerly awaited name on Monday is Netflix Inc, which will report after the market closes. The online movie renter was recently a trading favorite, soaring 300 percent last year as the S&P 500's biggest percentage gainer. The stock, stung by claims it is overvalued, slumped recently alongside a broader decline in "momentum" names. Analysts will look to see whether the results justify its still-elevated price.

* S&P 500 futures rose 2.7 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 22 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 10 points.

* The S&P 500 and Nasdaq are coming off four-day winning streaks, and investors may look to take profits on any disappointing corporate news.

* Dozens of S&P components will report this week, including such closely watched names as Apple Inc, Biogen Idec and Facebook Inc. A number of Dow components, including McDonald's Corp, AT&T Inc, Procter & Gamble and Caterpillar Inc, are also on tap to report.

* Last week the Dow rose 2.4 percent, the S&P 500 added 2.7 percent and the Nasdaq advanced 2.4 percent. The Dow had its best week since December while the S&P 500 closed out its best week since July. The CBOE Volatility index, a measure of investor anxiety, fell 21.6 percent over the week, its biggest weekly drop since January 2013.

(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

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