U.S. Stock-Index Futures Gain as Nike, Micron Shares Rise


U.S. stock-index futures climbed, with equities heading for their worst week in eight, as investors await clues on how the world’s largest economy will cope with higher interest rates from next year.

Nike Inc. jumped 6.7 percent in early New York trading after reporting first-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ estimates. Foot Locker Inc. and Finish Line Inc., which sell Nike products, rose more than 2 percent in New York post-market trading. Micron Technology Inc. added 6.3 percent after a surge in quarterly sales beat projections.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX) expiring in December rose 3.7 points, or 0.2 percent, to 1,965.30 at 10:44 a.m. in London. The equity benchmark slumped 1.6 percent yesterday, the largest decline since July, as Apple Inc. led a selloff in technology shares. It has dropped 2.2 percent so far this week. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 34 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,934 today.

“We don’t foresee the S&P 500 going higher than 2050,” Francois Savary, chief investment officer of Reyl & Cie., said by phone from Geneva. “There’s still uncertainty regarding the timing of interest-rate hikes — I think the U.S. economy could surprise on the upside.”

The S&P 500 reached a record on Sept. 18 as the Federal Reserve maintained a commitment to keep interest rates near zero for a considerable time after completing asset purchases. The Fed also said that the timing could move forward if data continues to exceed expectations. Investors are analyzing reports to assess whether economic growth is strong enough to withstand higher interest rates.

The U.S. economy probably expanded in the second quarter at a faster pace that initially estimated, economists predicted before the report, due at 8:30 a.m. in Washington. The Commerce Department’s third reading of gross domestic product will probably show a 4.6 percent pace of growth, revised from its previous estimate of 4.2 percent.

American consumer confidence advanced to the highest level in 14 months in September, data at 9:55 a.m. New York time may show. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final sentiment index probably rose to 84.8 this month, compared with a preliminary reading of 84.6, economists forecast.

Economic reports on employment and output from the manufacturing and services industries are due next week.


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