US stock index futures gained on Wednesday, signaling the possibility of equities rising for a second day, as Alcoa Inc reported better-than-expected quarterly earnings.
Alcoa added 3% in early trading in New York after the firm announced that premiums for aluminum rose during the quarter. Intuitive Surgical Inc. lost 9.1% after reporting that its revenue for the first quarter will drop by more than 20%.
S&P 500 futures for June delivery added less than 0.1% to 1,846 as of 7:23 in New York, as Dow Jones Industrial Average increased 24 points or 0.2% to 16, 204.
“Alcoa has kicked off the reporting season with its first quarter numbers. The market’s recent lackluster performance offers the potential of something of a recovery,” Richard Hunter of London-based Hargreaves Lansdown PLC told Bloomberg by email.
Improving US economic figures, especially the strength of corporate data in the next few weeks, would foster recovery, Hunter added.
The S&P 500 advanced 0.4% yesterday led by a decline of technology shares. The benchmark had lost 2.4% within the previous three days.
Alcoa shares rose to $12.92 as it kicked off the unofficial reporting season. The largest producer of aluminum in the US announced profits of 9 cents per share, which is above the 5 cents a share Bloomberg analysts had forecasted, without putting into account costs of restructuring and other one-off considerations.
There will be a 730,000 metric tons shortfall of global supplies, the company predicated. In January, Alcoa had anticipated a surplus of 106,000 tons.
Intuitive Surgical was down to $455.02. The company, which makes surgical robots, estimated its first quarter sales to be $465 million, a 24% drop from 2013. The company exported 87 robots within the first three months of 2014, compared with 164 in the same period last year.
According to Reuters, S&P 500 e-mini futures added 0.5 point.
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