Bloomberg News

U.S. Stock-Index Futures Advance as Federal Reserve Meets

July 31, 2012

U.S. stock futures rose, signaling the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will extend its second straight monthly gain, as the Federal Reserve prepared to start a two-day policy meeting.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the second-largest U.S. independent energy producer by market value, increased 0.7 percent in Germany after boosting its sales volume forecast. Seagate Technology Plc dropped 8.1 percent after the world’s biggest maker of computer disk drives forecast first-quarter revenue that trailed analyst estimates.

S&P 500 futures expiring in September climbed 0.4 percent to 1,385.5 as of 11:06 a.m. in London, indicating the benchmark gauge will extend this month’s 1.7 percent advance. Dow (INDU) Jones Industrial Average futures increased 53 points, or 0.4 percent, to 13,054 today.

“Recent policy-maker comments suggest more quantitative easings are in the making,” said Henrik Drusebjerg, a senior strategist at Nordea Bank AB in Copenhagen, where he helps oversee $220 billion. “This time, Bernanke will wait for the European Central Bank as the Fed for once plays second fiddle.”

The Dow topped 13,000 last week, capping its longest stretch of weekly advances since January, amid expectations the ECB will buy bonds to help lower borrowing costs and preserve the euro. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande joined ECB President Mario Draghi last week in pledging to do everything to protect the euro.

Bernanke Waiting

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke will probably forgo announcing a third round of large-scale asset purchases this week, and is more likely to wait until September to unveil plans to buy $600 billion in housing and government debt, according to a Bloomberg News survey.

Eighty-eight percent of 58 economists surveyed said the Federal Open Market Committee will refrain from resuming purchases at a two-day meeting beginning today. Forty-eight percent say the FOMC will announce the buying at its Sept. 12-13 meeting, according to the July 25-27 poll.

Americans remained cautious about spending in June, Commerce Department figures may show today. Purchases rose 0.1 percent following no change in May, even as incomes climbed 0.4 percent, the most in three months, according to the median economist forecast in a Bloomberg survey.

The Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence fell in July for a fifth consecutive month, the longest period of declines since the first half of 2008, economists forecast before another U.S. report today. The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities dropped 1.4 percent in May from the same month in 2011, after decreasing 1.9 percent in the year ended April, a separate survey showed.

Anadarko Advances

Anadarko (APC:US) rose 0.7 percent to $72.26. Excluding a reduction in the value of coalbed methane properties and other one-time items, the company reported a second-quarter per-share profit that was 8 cents more than the 77-cent average of 30 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

Accretive Health Inc. (AH:US) jumped 20 percent to $12.04 in early New York trading. The hospital billings and collections manager agreed to pay Minnesota $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit and withdrawing from the state, Attorney General Lori Swanson and the company said.

Swanson sued the Chicago-based business in January, accusing it of a privacy-law breach after a laptop computer containing data on about 23,500 patients was lost. She later issued a report critical of the company’s collections practices at Minnesota-based Fairview Health Services and North Memorial Health Care.

Seagate (STX:US) slid 8.1 percent to $27.97 in German trading. The company said on an earnings conference call that it forecasts fiscal first-quarter revenue of at least $4 billion. Analyst had estimated $4.49 billion.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Levring in Copenhagen at plevring1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Rummer at arummer@bloomberg.net


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Companies Mentioned

  • APC
    (Anadarko Petroleum Corp)
    • $91.78 USD
    • 2.32
    • 2.53%
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