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U.S. Stock-Index Futures Rise as Bank of America Profit Surges

Jan. 15 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures climbed, signaling equities will extend the biggest rally in almost four weeks, as Bank of America Corp.’s profit quadrupled and investors awaited data on prices and regional manufacturing.

Bank of America jumped 2.7 percent after the second-biggest U.S. lender reported fourth-quarter earnings and revenue that beat analysts’ estimates. Tesla Motors Inc. advanced 2.5 percent after Elon Musk predicted that the company will deliver its first Model S vehicles to China in March.

S&P 500 futures expiring in March added 0.2 percent to 1,836.4 at 8:02 a.m. in New York. The equity benchmark has slipped 0.5 percent so far in January as investors weighed valuations after a 30 percent rally last year that sent the gauge to a record. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 39 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,338 today.

“Given that equity markets have had a good run, there could be room for some disappointment, but overall the bias still is to the upside,” Jawaid Afsar, a trader at Securequity Ltd. in Sheffield, England, said in an interview.

The S&P 500 trades at 15.6 times the estimated earnings of its members, more than the five-year average multiple of 14.1, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The gauge ended 2013 at its highest valuation since the end of 2009.

Fourteen members of the S&P 500, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc., release their earnings tomorrow. Profit per share for companies in the index probably climbed 4.9 percent on average in the fourth quarter, while sales increased 1.8 percent, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Empire Manufacturing

A report at 8:30 a.m. will show that manufacturing in the New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut grew at a faster pace this month, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s general economic index probably rose to 3.5, a four-month high, from 0.98 in December. Positive readings mean that activity expanded.

The Fed releases its Beige Book business survey at 2 p.m. in Washington, reporting on the state of the economy in its 12 districts. The central bank’s policy makers meet in two weeks to decide whether to continue slowing the pace of asset purchases. The officials decided at their Dec. 17-18 meeting to reduce their monthly bond buying by $10 billion to $75 billion. They cited the improving labor market.

Bank Earnings

Bank of America advanced 2.7 percent to $17.23. The Charlotte, North Carolina-based lender posted fourth-quarter earnings of 29 cents, exceeding the average analyst estimate of 27 cents. The company also reported revenue of $22.3 billion, beating the $21.1 billion that analysts had estimated.

Tesla Motors advanced 2.5 percent to $165.23. The electric- car maker surged 16 percent yesterday after saying it delivered 6,900 Model S cars in the fourth quarter, pushing its full-year sales beyond a company target.

3D Systems Corp. slipped 4 percent to $87.60, while Stratasys Ltd., which dropped the most since Nov. 19 yesterday after its 2014 profit forecast missed estimates, lost 0.7 percent to $118.52. ExOne Co. tumbled 15 percent to $52.69 after the three-dimensional printing company said 2013 revenue will not exceed $42 million. In November, it forecast about $48 million of sales.

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