Stock Futures Marginally Higher
U.S. stock futures held modest gains on Wednesday, pointing towards a higher start as market sentiment received tremendous boost after Alcoa Inc. (NYSE: AA), regarded as an economic bellwether, reported strong jump in profits and raised its outlook for 2013.
At last check, futures on Dow Jones Industrial Average Index inched up 0.08%; those on Nasdaq 100 added 0.01% Index while futures on S&P 500 Index gained 0.02%
Alcoa swung into profits for the fiscal fourth quarter thanks to cost cutting measures, strong demand from aerospace and automobile industry in the U.S. and steady demand for raw aluminum. The Company now expects global demand for aluminum will grow by 7 percent versus its previous estimation of 6.5 percent. Shares were gaining 2.65 percent in premarket trading. Earnings (Non GAAP) were in line with analysts’ consensus estimate even though aluminum prices dropped 12 percent in 2012.
No major economic data is set to release on Wednesday.
On earnings front, Constellation Brands Inc. (NYSE: STZ) is scheduled to report fiscal third-quarter results while grocery chain PriceSmart Inc. (NASDAQ: PSMT) will announce fiscal first-quarter results.
In Asia, markets ended mainly higher with Japan’s Nikkei edging up 0.67% while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gaining 0.46%, for the day.
Elsewhere in Europe, all leading benchmark indexes were trading in green territory as investors’ risk appetite was boosted after Alcoa’s results. At last check, the Pan European Stoxx 600 Index was up0.23% while FTSE 100 gained 0.38%.
The European Central Bank is expected to announce its interest rate policy on Thursday.
In some other markets, crude oil futures fell 0.16% to $93.0 a barrel while gold futures for February delivery inched up 0.05% to $1,663.0 an ounce.