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U.S. Stock Futures Rise; Putin Says Russia Won’t Split Ukraine

March 18 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures climbed, indicating equities will extend yesterday’s rally, after Vladimir Putin said Russia isn’t seeking to split Ukraine and called for an end to Cold War rhetoric.

Qiagen NV rose 3.8 percent after Berenberg Bank recommended buying shares in the provider of medical tests. Cisco Systems Inc. lost 0.6 percent in early New York trading after Barclays Plc lowered its rating on the company.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in June gained 0.4 percent to 1,857.3 at 8:33 a.m. in New York. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts added 57 points, or 0.4 percent, to 16,223 today.

“The words that market participants wanted to hear were that he’ll respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and will be satisfied with Crimea, and won’t go for more,” said Benno Galliker, a trader at Luzerner Kantonalbank AG in Lucerne, Switzerland. These “words were heard, and we’re seeing a relief nudge up,” he said.

Putin supported a request from Ukraine’s separatist region of Crimea to join Russia, defying U.S. and European Union sanctions. Crimea voted on March 16 to leave Ukraine and become a part of Russia. The regional parliament called the plebiscite after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych fled the country following protests against his rule.

‘Don’t Believe’

“We don’t want to split up Ukraine, we don’t need that,” the Russian president said in a speech to parliament. “Don’t believe those who scare you with Russia, who yell that Crimea will be followed by other regions.”

The S&P 500 rallied 1 percent yesterday for its biggest increase in almost two weeks as a measure of industrial production grew more than forecast.

A Commerce Department report showed starts were little changed in February after declining less than previously estimated a month earlier, indicating the home-building industry is stabilizing after bad winter weather curbed construction. Permits filed for future projects increased 7.7 percent to a 1.02 million pace in February, the most since October.

The Federal Open Market Committee will announce a $10 billion cut to its monthly bond purchases at the end of its two- day meeting tomorrow, according to the median of responses in a survey. The Federal Reserve will continue to slow the asset- buying program at that pace at every meeting before ending the program at its Oct. 28-29 gathering, the survey showed.

Computers, HPV

Qiagen rose 3.8 percent to $21.54. Berenberg raised its rating on the Netherlands-based company to buy from hold, saying the company’s sales and profit will rebound from 2015 as several of its businesses -- other than its tests for human papillomavirus, or HPV -- grow.

Hewlett-Packard Co. added 2.1 percent to $30.09 after Barclays lifted its recommendation on the personal-computer maker to overweight from equal weight, meaning investors should buy the shares. The brokerage said HP’s servers may gain market share from International Business Machines Corp. and Lenovo Group Ltd.

Cisco lost 0.6 percent to $21.38. Barclays reduced the biggest maker of computer-networking equipment to equal weight from overweight, meaning that investors should stop buying the shares. The brokerage said the company will probably will not rally until it successfully moves to cloud and software-defined networking.

Michael Kors Holdings Ltd. slipped 0.7 percent to $97.89. Barclays initiated coverage of the luxury retailer with an underweight, or sell, rating and a price forecast of $85, 14 percent below yesterday’s closing price.

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