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U.S. Stock Futures Rise on Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola Results

April 15 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures rose, after equities rebounded from their worst week since 2012, as earnings from Johnson & Johnson and Coca-Cola Co. offset data signaling a slowdown in China’s economy.

Coca-Cola gained 2 percent as global volume sales increased. Johnson & Johnson climbed 1.9 percent as the company raised its forecast for the year. Umpqua Holdings Corp. added 1.8 percent after S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC said Oregon’s biggest bank will join its S&P MidCap 400 Index this week.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures expiring in June rose 0.2 percent to 1,828.7 at 8 a.m. in New York. The equity gauge has dropped 3.2 percent from its April 2 record amid concern valuations may be too high as the earnings season begins. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts gained 30 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,126 today. Futures on the Nasdaq 100 Index increased 0.3 percent.

“It’s quite likely that U.S. earnings will beat expectations because analysts have set the bar quite low,” James Butterfill, who helps oversee about $50 billion as head of global equity strategy at Coutts & Co., said by phone from London. “There probably won’t be any particular pressure on margins this quarter, so earnings momentum will continue to rise. I do expect the harsh winter to have impacted the most energy-intensive companies.”

Nine S&P 500 members are reporting earnings today. Yahoo! Inc. and Intel Corp. will release results after the close of U.S. trading. Profit at S&P 500 companies probably fell 0.9 percent in the first quarter, analysts predict. At the beginning of the year, they had projected a 6.6 percent increase. Sales increased 2.6 percent in the first quarter, the estimates show.

Manufacturing Data

Manufacturing in the New York region probably grew at a faster pace in April, economists predicted before a report at 8:30 a.m. in New York. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s index rose to 8 from 5.61 in March, the median forecast compiled by Bloomberg shows. Positive readings signal expansion in New York, northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut.

A report earlier today showed China’s money supply grew less than forecast and the broadest measure of credit fell 19 percent from a year earlier in March.

China’s gross domestic product grew 1.5 percent from the previous three months, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey ahead of data released tomorrow, down from 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter.

“China’s growth data tomorrow may demonstrate a weaker- than-expected economy,” Ronald Wan, chief China adviser at Asian Capital Holdings Ltd., said by phone from Hong Kong. “Expectations for large-scale stimulus may not be in place and there could be smaller measures instead.”

Equity Valuations

The S&P 500 trades at 16.9 times its members’ reported earnings. While that’s near its highest valuation in four years, it’s close to its weekly average since 1937, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

U.S. stocks slumped last week as the investors sold the best performers of the bull market on concern valuations have climbed too high. The S&P 500 fell 2.6 percent in the five days through April 11 and the Nasdaq Composite Index of technology shares sank 3.1 percent, the biggest declines since June 2012.

Coca-Cola rose 2 percent to $39.50 as first-quarter profit met analysts’ estimates. Global sales volume rose 2 percent for the quarter, driven by emerging markets. Chief Executive Officer Muhtar Kent, facing sluggish soft drink sales in the U.S., has implemented a cost-cutting program to boost earnings and is collaborating with Keurig Green Mountain Inc. to compete in at- home soda making.

Johnson & Johnson jumped 1.9 percent to $99. The world’s biggest maker of health-care products said first-quarter profit rose 34 percent on demand for the company’s newest drugs.

J&J, the first of the major health care companies to report earnings this quarter, raised its 2014 forecast to $5.80 to $5.90 a share from $5.75 to $5.85 a share, excluding items.

Umpqua added 1.8 percent to $18.49. The lender will replace Scientific Games Corp. in the index after the close of trading on Thursday, S&P said in a statement late yesterday. The revisions in the equity gauge may prompt money managers to shift holdings to match the index.

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