NEW YORK Jan 9 U.S. stock index futures rose
modestly on Wednesday as Alcoa got the earnings season underway
with better-than-expected revenue.
* Alcoa Inc also gave a positive outlook for 2013,
but kept a cautious tone as worries lingered over a looming U.S.
budget confrontation. Shares of Alcoa, the largest aluminum
producer in the United States, rose 1.9 percent to $9.27 in
* Even with the encouraging Alcoa report, investors were
wary about the outcome of the fourth-quarter earnings season.
Profits were expected to beat the previous quarter's lackluster
results, but analyst estimates were down sharply from October.
Quarterly earnings were expected to grow by 2.7 percent,
according to Thomson Reuters data.
* Equities have pulled back over the last two sessions after
last week's rally, which was spurred by the "fiscal cliff" deal
* S&P 500 futures rose 0.2 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 11
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.25 points.
* Dish Network Corp late Tuesday announced a bid
for Clearwire Corp that trumped Sprint Nextel Corp's
$2.2 billion offer, setting the stage for a battle over
the wireless service provider. Clearwire was up 9.6 percent at
$3.20 in premarket trading.
* Apple Inc is working on a lower-end iPhone, the
Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources. The report comes
as Apple's chief executive meets with partners and government
officials in China.
* Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley
are among a group of banks expected to agree as soon as this
week to a $1.5 billion settlement with U.S. regulators over
botched foreclosure claims, sources told Reuters on Tuesday.
* The biggest U.S. for-profit college company, Apollo Group
Inc, reported lower student sign-ups for the third
straight quarter and cut its operating profit forecast for 2013.