* China data points to strengthening recovery
* Boeing climbs after earnings, outlook
* Facebook surges after results
* Dow Chemical to cut jobs
* Futures up: Dow 49 pts, S&P 7.1 pts, Nasdaq 15.25 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Oct 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures
advanced on Wednesday and pointed to a higher open, after data
from China and Boeing provided temporary relief to a slumping
market, and following declines Tuesday when the Dow suffered
its biggest drop in four months.
The S&P 50 has dropped more than 3 percent over the last
four sessions, as weak earnings outlooks and top-line revenue
misses by large multinational companies reignited worries about
a slowing global economy.
The China HSBC Flash Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index
(PMI) showed that growth shrank for a 12th straight month in
October, but output was at a three-month high of 49.1 and order
books at their most robust since April, signaling a
Boeing Co shares climbed 2.5 percent to $74.65 in
premarket trading after the commercial jet and defense giant
reported earnings and raised its full-year 2012 outlook.
That optimistic outlook bucked a recent trend by companies
with a large global footprint - including DuPont, United
Technologies Corp and 3M Co - of lowering their
"At the end of the day - we've been through this for three
years - the short term bumps that Bernanke is providing is just
a sugar high, and fundamentals matter," said Seth Setrakian,
partner and co-head of U.S. equities at First New York
Securities in New York.
"He's probably prevented it from being worse but stocks are
based on valuation, based on their earnings and projected future
business and the economy is slowing and prices are reflecting
A total of 43 S&P 500 companies are scheduled to report
earnings on Wednesday, including Citrix Systems Inc, F5
Networks Inc and Symantec Corp after the
AT&T Inc posted third-quarter revenue that was below
analysts' expectations, but its earnings increased from a year
earlier. Shares were unchanged at $35 in premarket trading.
Dow Chemical Co, the largest chemical maker in the
United States, said Tuesday it would cut 5 percent of its
workforce and shut 20 plants to counter a slowing global
economy. Its shares advanced 5.6 percent to $30.14 in premarket
Eli Lilly and Co shed 2.4 percent to $50.65 after
the drugmaker reported quarterly earnings and sales below Wall
Street expectations, hurt by higher taxes and generic
competition for its Zyprexa schizophrenia drug.
S&P 500 futures rose 7.1 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 49
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 15.25 points.
Facebook Inc surged 26.7 percent to $24.72 in
premarket after the social networking company grew mobile
advertising revenue several times in the third quarter, a
EMC Corp lost 1.9 percent to $24.20 in premarket
trading after the data-storage equipment maker cut its full-year
outlook on Wednesday and reported third-quarter sales and
earnings below analysts' expectations amid reluctant customer
With results in from 29 percent of S&P 500 companies,
37 percent have exceeded revenue forecasts, far below the 62
percent average, and just 57.2 percent of the S&P 500 names
reporting so far have beaten earnings forecasts, according to
Thomson Reuters data through Tuesday morning.
The current reporting season has seen the lowest percentage
of companies exceeding estimates since the fourth quarter of
Financial information firm Markit said its U.S. "flash," or
preliminary, Purchasing Managers Index for the manufacturing
sector edged up to 51.3 this month from 51.1 in September, but
slow growth and economic uncertainty suggested the sector's
recent struggles may persist over the final months of 2012.
At 10:00 a.m. (1400 GMT), investors will peruse September
new home sales and the August home price index for continued
signs the industry is returning to health.
Economists in a Reuters survey expect new home sales to show
a total of 385,000 annualized units, compared with 373,000 in
August. The home price index had risen 0.2 percent in July.
The Federal Open Market Committee will conclude the second
day of a two-day meeting on Wednesday. Analysts and primary
dealers expect the FOMC to leave fed funds rate in the current
0.0 percent to 0.25 percent range.