(AP) — Stocks are poised to jump Wednesday on the heels of strong earnings results by Intel Corp. and other companies.
Intel rose 6 percent in pre-market trading. The chip-maker said Tuesday its first-quarter net income rose 29 percent because of rising demand for personal computers. The results handily beat analysts' expectations and proved tablet computers haven't made PCs obsolete.
Yahoo Inc. rose 4 percent in pre-market trading after it reported that cost-cutting efforts pushed its first-quarter earnings above Wall Street's expectations.
Computer giant IBM Corp. also blew past earnings expectations, with first-quarter net income rising 10 percent, but slipped 1.1 percent in pre-market trading. The company's stock performance might have been dented because it signed fewer contracts for service abroad during the quarter.
On Wednesday, industrial conglomerate United Technologies Corp. rose 3 percent in pre-market trading after it announced that its first-quarter profit rose 17 percent, beating Wall Street expectations. The company also raised its forecast for 2011 profit. AT&T said it pulled in the lowest number of new subscribers for iPhones ever because of competition from Verizon. The company's stock slipped 1.2 percent in pre-market trading.
Altria Group Inc. fell 1.3 percent in pre-market trading. The company's first-quarter net income rose in spite of selling fewer cigarettes because of lower costs and higher prices for packs.
Later this morning, the National Association of Realtors will report on the number of people who bought previously occupied homes in march. Economists expect that homes were purchased at a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 5 million, a jump from February's 4.88 million pace. For the housing market to be considered healthy, 6 million homes a year would have to be purchased. In February, the median sale price of a home fell to its lowest level in nearly nine years, largely because many of the homes sold were in the foreclosure process.
Ahead of the opening bell, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 145 points, or 1.2 percent, to 12,371. Standard & Poor's 500 futures rose 18, or 1.3 percent, to 1,326. Nasdaq 100 futures rose 30, or 1.3 percent, to 2,341.
On Tuesday, strong earnings from Johnson & Johnson and a report that builders broke ground in March on more new homes than analysts expected pushed stocks higher. The Dow rose 65, or 0.5 percent, to close at 12,266. The S&P 500 index rose 8, or 0.6 percent, to close at 1,313. The Nasdaq composite rose 10, or 0.4 percent, to close at 2,744.