Bloomberg News

U.S. Stock Futures Extend Gains Following Durable-Goods Report

October 26, 2011

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures extended gains after orders for durable goods topped economists forecasts last month, tempering concern that the economy was weakening.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in December rose 0.8 percent to 1,234 at 8:32 a.m. in New York.

Orders for U.S. durable goods excluding transportation equipment rose in September by the most in six months, showing manufacturing is supporting the expansion. Demand for goods meant to last at least three years, outside of airplanes and automobiles, climbed 1.7 percent, exceeding the median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News that called for a 0.4 percent increase, figures from the Commerce Department showed. Total bookings fell 0.8 percent, depressed by a 26 percent plunge in planes.

The S&P 500 fell 2 percent yesterday, its biggest drop in three weeks, as earnings reports at 3M Co. and United Parcel Service Inc. disappointed investors and consumer confidence trailed forecasts, underscoring pressures on the economy from Europe’s government debt crisis.

The index is still up 12 percent from a 13-month low on Oct. 3 amid higher-than-forecast corporate profits and growing confidence that European leaders will tame the debt crisis.

Earnings-per-share have topped analysts’ average estimate at about three-quarters of the 172 companies in the S&P 500 that reported results since Oct. 11, Bloomberg data show. Net income for the group has grown 14 percent and sales have increased 10 percent

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