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Futures firmly up as J&J results boost earnings optimism By Reuters

© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 17, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Ankika Biswas and Susan Mathew

(Reuters) -U.S. stock index futures jumped on Tuesday, with strong quarterly sales from Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:) lifting hopes that upbeat corporate reports could soothe markets worries of a potential recession due to rising inflation and interest rates.

Johnson & Johnson rose 1.5% in premarket trading after the healthcare conglomerate beat Wall Street expectations for third-quarter sales, helped by strong demand for its cancer drug Darzalex and Crohn’s disease drug Stelara.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:) gained 0.9%, while Netflix (NASDAQ:) added 1.6% ahead of earnings later in the day.

Big U.S. banks kicked off the quarterly reporting season on a largely positive note, with Bank of America (NYSE:)’s results leading a rally in stocks on Monday.

The reversal of parts of a controversial UK fiscal plan that had roiled bond markets also aided sentiment.

“Initial Q3 company reports have been positive, and you’ve had some stabilization in the United Kingdom with its government. That and generally oversold conditions have been the real driver of equities in the last few days,” said Patrick Armstrong, chief investment officer at Plurimi Wealth.

Analysts now expect profit for companies to have risen just 3% from a year ago, much lower than an 11.1% increase expected at the start of July, according to Refinitiv data.

Meanwhile, a report said ratings agency Fitch has slashed U.S. growth forecasts for this year and next and was set to warn that the Fed’s interest rate hikes and inflation will drive the economy into a 1990-style recession.

All three of the major U.S. benchmark stock indexes have marked losses of more than 12% over the last two months as investors worry that the U.S. Federal Reserve’s war on inflation may hobble the economy.

At 7:00 a.m. ET, were up 340 points, or 1.12%, were up 50.25 points, or 1.36%, and were up 179.75 points, or 1.62%.

Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:) gained 1.6% after a report that it was laying off under 1,000 employees this week, becoming the latest U.S. technology company to cut jobs or slow hiring amid a global economic slowdown.

Major mega-cap technology and other growth names like Apple Inc (NASDAQ:), Meta Platforms, (NASDAQ:) and Nvidia (NASDAQ:) Corp were up between 1.4% and 2.1%.

Industrial production for September due before market open, which is seen rising 0.1% compared to a 0.3% fall in the prior month, will also be on the watch-list.

Investors will also keenly listen to comments from Federal Reserve’s Atlanta President Raphael Bostic and Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari for any dissent on the rapid rate hike narrative.



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