* ECB's Draghi sees euro zone recovery
* Microsoft down after earnings
* Procter & Gamble reports higher profit
* Futures up: S&P 3.2 pts, Dow 44 pts, Nasdaq 9.75 pts
By Edward Krudy
NEW YORK, Jan 25 U.S. stock index futures gained
on Friday after Procter & Gamble reported a higher quarterly
profit and as the S&P 500 looked set to extend its best winning
streak in more than six years.
* The strong start to the year has been attributed to solid
corporate earnings, agreement in Washington over raising the
debt limit, encouraging recovery signs in the global economy and
seasonal inflows to equity markets.
* Those factors helped the S&P 500 rally for a seventh day
on Thursday to a five-year peak. But the index is struggling to
move convincingly above 1,500, a level it surpassed briefly
Thursday for the first time since December 2007.
* "You have had more confidence from fund managers to
provide more allocations to equity markets," said Rick Meckler,
president of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management, who
added equities were looking more attractive than bonds or cash.
* Procter & Gamble, the world's top household
products maker reported a higher profit on Friday and raised its
sales and earnings outlook for the fiscal year. Shares were up
1.4 pct at $71.42 in premarket trading.
* Earnings have helped drive the stock market's recent
rally. Thomson Reuters data through early Thursday showed that
of the 133 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far,
66.9 percent have exceeded expectations, above the 65 percent
average over the past four quarters.
* Microsoft Corp's quarterly profit edged lower as
Office software sales slowed ahead of a new launch, offsetting a
solid but unspectacular start for its Windows 8 operating system
and sending the company's shares down 1.1 percent.
* S&P 500 futures rose 3.2 point 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 rose 44
points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 9.75 points.
* Echoing a more positive tone in Europe, ECB President
Mario Draghi said he expects the euro zone economy to recover
later this year, adding that financial market improvements have
not yet trickled into the general economy. Draghi was speaking
at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday.
* Halliburton, the world's second-largest oilfield
services company, is also due to report results.
* Apple stepped up audits of working conditions at
major suppliers last year, discovering multiple cases of
underage workers, discrimination and wage problems. The shares,
which fell 12 percent Thursday after disappointing earnings,
edged up 0.2 percent to $451.80.
* Honeywell, the diversified U.S. manufacturer, will
be in focus as it reports earnings, with modest growth in demand
for systems used to manage large buildings expected to be offset
by declining sales to the military.
* The Commerce Department releases new home sales data for
December at 10:00 a.m. (1500 GMT). Economists forecast a total
of 385,000 annualized units, compared with 377,000 in November.
* Economic Cycle Research Institute releases its weekly
index of economic activity for Jan. 18 at 10:30 a.m. (1530 GMT).
In the prior week the index read 130.
* European shares rose 0.1 percent after a survey
showed German business morale improved for a third consecutive
month in January.