Before the bell: S&P futures -0.1%, Nasdaq futures -0.6%
U.S. stock-index futures trimmed losses after housing starts rose more than forecast, bolstering optimism the economy may weather Europe’s debt crisis.
Builders began work on 658,000 houses at an annual rate, up 15 percent from August and the most since April 2010, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast was for for a 590K.
The S&P rose yesterday after the Guardian newspaper reported that Germany and France have agreed to boost the region’s rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, to 2 trillion euros ($2.8 trillion) from 440 billion euros. German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble hasn’t specified how much additional firepower the European bailout fund may have, ministry spokesman Martin Kotthaus told reporters today in Berlin.
The Apple uggernaut continued unabated in FQ4 as net profit jumped 54% to $6.62B, or $7.05 a share, and revenue climbed 39% to $28.3B. However, shares tumbled 5.1% post-market as the results missed analyst forecasts for the first time in years.
Intel (INTC) EPS rose 17% to $0.65 a share and revenue surged 28% to a record $14.2B. Intel also gave Q4 guidance and boosted a stock buyback program by $10B. Shares rose 3.9% premarket.