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U.S. Stock-Index Futures Increase as Yahoo Advances on Earnings

April 16 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures rose, indicating that the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will climb for a third day, as Yahoo! Inc. led gains by technology companies after reporting earnings that beat estimates.

Yahoo rallied 8.7 percent in early New York trading after saying profit surged at Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. Yahoo owns 24 percent of the Chinese e-commerce company. Twitter Inc. advanced 1.1 percent after Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc. raised its rating on the micro-blogging site. Bank of America Corp. retreated 1.5 percent after reporting a quarterly loss.

S&P 500 futures expiring in June added 0.5 percent to 1,848.9 at 7:18 a.m. in New York. The equity benchmark gained 0.7 yesterday as earnings from Coca-Cola Co. and Johnson & Johnson outweighed concern about escalating conflict in Ukraine. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts climbed 75 points, or 0.5 percent, to 16,280 today. Futures on the Nasdaq 100 Index increased 0.6 percent.

“Growth is picking up and companies can see that the snow has melted,” said Steven Bell, a London-based fund manager at F&C Asset Management Plc, which oversees the equivalent of $150 billion. “We all knew this economy was hit by the weather, but that has also made the bar lower for earnings. It looks like we’re going to grind higher and see a second-quarter bounce.”

Seventeen S&P 500 companies, including Bank of America Corp., Google Inc. and International Business Machines Corp., report earnings today. Profit per share for the index’s constituents probably dropped 0.9 percent in the first quarter, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue climbed 2.6 percent from a year earlier, the projections show.

Yahoo Jumps

Yahoo rallied 8.7 percent to $37.20. The Web portal posted first-quarter earnings of 38 cents a share, more than the 37- cent average estimate of analysts. Sales excluding some items of $1.09 billion also beat projections. Alibaba reported that net income more than doubled in the last quarter of 2013 and revenue surged 66 percent.

Twitter added 1.1 percent to $46, while Amazon.com Inc. climbed 1.1 percent to $319.40.

PNC Financial Services Group Inc. advanced 2 percent to $83.79. The second-biggest U.S. regional bank said first-quarter net income climbed to $1.82 a share, beating the $1.65 average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Huntington Bancshares Inc. added 1.2 percent to $9.58. The Columbus, Ohio-based lender posted first-quarter earnings of 19 cents per share, beating the average projection of 17 cents.

Bank of America declined 1.5 percent to $16.15. The second- largest U.S. lender swung to a quarterly loss after settling claims on mortgage bonds. The first-quarter loss of $276 million compared with a profit of $1.48 billion a year earlier, the lender said.

Housing Starts

A Commerce Department report at 8:30 a.m. may show housing starts rebounded to an annualized pace of 970,000 in March, the first increase in four months, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Builders began work on 907,000 residential properties in February. A separate release at 9:15 a.m. may show industrial production increased at a slower rate last month.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks to the Economic Club of New York at 12:25 p.m. The central bank releases its Beige Book economic survey at 2 p.m.

Russian President Vladimir Putin told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the conflict in Ukraine has brought the nation to the brink of a civil war, according to Interfax. The U.S. and its European allies have threatened a new round of penalties against Russian interests, while Ukraine has accused Russia of sending forces into the country to support separatists. Putin has parliamentary approval to deploy troops in Ukraine.

Envoys from Ukraine, Russia, the U.S. and the European Union hold talks in Geneva tomorrow.

In China, a report showed that the world’s second-largest economy grew at an annualized 7.4 percent in the first three months of this year, a faster pace than economists had forecast. Gross domestic product still expanded at the slowest pace since the third quarter of 2012.

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