Bloomberg News

U.S. Stock Futures Extend Gains as Retail Sales Top Forecasts

October 14, 2011

Oct. 14 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures extended gains as retail sales rose more than forecast, building on an early rally triggered by better-than-estimated results at Google Inc. and Group of 20 talks to tame Europe’s debt crisis.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 1.3 percent to 1,213.3 at 8:31 a.m. in New York.

The 1.1 percent advance in retail sales, the biggest since February, followed a 0.3 percent gain for August, a stronger performance than previously estimated, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 85 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News called for a 0.7 percent rise in purchases last month.

The S&P 500 fell 0.3 percent yesterday, retreating following its biggest rally over seven days since March 2009, as a drop in profit at JPMorgan Chase & Co. underscored the damage stemming from Europe’s debt crisis and concern grew that equities had rallied too much on optimism officials were making progress to fix it.

Nations from China to Brazil are considering increasing the International Monetary Fund’s lending resources to help stem the European debt crisis, Group of 20 and IMF officials said. Talks are at a preliminary stage as potential contributors wait to see what measures Europeans take to end the debt turmoil at an Oct. 23 summit, they said.

Google Inc. rallied early trading after the company reported that third-quarter sales, excluding revenue passed on to partner sites, rose to $7.51 billion, beating the $7.23 billion average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Profit, excluding some items, was $9.72 a shares, more than the $8.76 average forecast.

Apple gained as its new iPhone 4S became available today in the U.S., Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan and the U.K. The device is projected to outperform last year’s introduction of the iPhone 4, which topped 1.7 million units in its introductory weekend. For the iPhone 4S, most estimates range from 2 million to 3 million, with Yankee Group analyst Carl Howe predicting sales of as much as 4 million.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at mregan12@bloomberg.net


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