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S&P 500 likely to gain for 4th day; Procter & Gamble to post earnings

Employees of the NYSE observe a moment of

Employees of the NYSE observe a moment of silence on the floor of the exchange in Manhattan, a week after bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. (April 22, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

U.S. stock futures rose, signaling the Standard & Poor's 500 index will gain for a fourth day, before companies from Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) to Boeing Co. (BA) publish quarterly earnings.

Yum Brands (YUM) jumped 4.2 percent in Germany after reporting first-quarter profit that topped analysts' estimates. Amgen Inc. (AMGN) declined 5.3 percent after the world's largest biotechnology company posted sales growth that missed projections. AT&T Inc. (T) lost 2.4 percent after saying revenue fell.

Futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 index expiring in June advanced 0.3 percent to 1,577.5 at 10:44 a.m. in London. The S&P 500 rose for a third day yesterday, after a false report of explosions at the White House had briefly erased gains. Contracts on the Dow Jones industrial average added 35 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14,679 today.

"Earnings yet again are supportive," Antonin Jullier, global head of equity trading strategy at Citigroup Global Markets, told Guy Johnson on Bloomberg Television. "The market is not overly stressed about a significant pullback. We stick to the buy-the-dip mentality."

Forty seven S&P 500 companies post quarterly earnings Wednesday. Of the companies that have published results so far in this reporting season, 73 percent have exceeded analysts' predictions for earnings, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Profit at S&P 500 companies dropped 1.1 percent in the first three months of the year, according to forecasts compiled by Bloomberg. That would mark the first year-over-year decrease since 2009.


A Commerce Department report at 8:30 a.m. in Washington will show durable-goods orders fell 3 percent in March after a 5.7 percent increase in February, economists in a Bloomberg survey predicted. Bookings for goods other than transportation equipment rose 0.5 percent, according to the median projection.

Yum gained 4.2 percent to $66.87 in Germany. The owner of the KFC and Pizza Hut dining chains said profit excluding certain items was 70 cents a share.

Analysts estimated 60 cents, the average of 25 projections compiled by Bloomberg.

Amgen declined 5.3 percent to $106.78 in Germany. Revenue increased 5 percent to $4.24 billion, less than the $4.37 billion estimated by analysts. This is the first time in 11 quarters that the company has missed expectations, according to Bloomberg Industries.

AT&T lost 2.4 percent to $38.05 in German trading. The largest U.S. phone company said sales dropped 1.5 percent to $31.4 billion in the first quarter.

Analysts on average had forecast $31.7 billion.

Opko Health Inc. (OPK) fell 3.4 percent to $6.82 in early New York trading. The company agreed to buy Israeli drugmaker Prolor Biotech Inc. (PBTH) for about $480 million. The two companies count U.S. pharmaceutical billionaire Phillip Frost as their largest shareholder. Prolor jumped 11 percent to $6.46.

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