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U.S. Stock-Index Futures Are Little Changed After S&P 500 Jump

April 21 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures were little changed, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted its biggest weekly gain since July, as investors awaited earnings reports by companies from Halliburton Co. to Netflix Inc.

Home Depot Inc. climbed 0.9 percent in early New York trading after a report that the stock may gain 23 percent. Halliburton advanced 1 percent.

Futures on the S&P 500 expiring in June climbed 0.1 percent to 1,859.7 at 6:14 a.m. in New York today. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts advanced 15 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,358.

“I suspect most companies are going to raise guidance for the upcoming quarters thanks to the pumped up demand and the spring thrall,” Patrick Spencer, who helps oversee more than $100 billion as head of equity sales at Robert W. Baird & Co. in London, said in a phone interview. “The economy remains in a sweet spot. I’m very optimistic for this year.”

The S&P 500 jumped 2.7 percent last week, rebounding from the previous week’s technology-led selloff, as corporate earnings from Morgan Stanley to Citigroup Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. surpassed estimates. The gauge is 1.4 percent away from its record high reached April 2. U.S. equity markets were closed on April 18 for the Good Friday holiday.

Halliburton, Netflix and Kimberly-Clark Corp. are among S&P 500 companies reporting earnings today. About 71 percent of the 82 that have announced results this season have beaten analysts’ profit estimates, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Earnings Season

Analysts project that earnings at S&P 500 companies increased 0.7 percent in the first quarter, while revenue climbed 2.6 percent, according to the average estimate.

Investors are becoming less concerned about earnings growth. The best gains in the stock market this month are being generated by the likes of Exelon Corp., an atomic power producer whose profits are shrinking. At the same time, companies that are boosting income such as Facebook Inc. and Netflix are in retreat. Shares favored by value investors for their low price- earnings ratios are beating those with higher valuations by the most since 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

An index of economic strength in the U.S. probably rose last month. The Conference Board’s gauge of the outlook for the next three to six months climbed 0.7 percent after rising 0.5 percent in February, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists.

Ukraine Crisis

In Ukraine, deadly clashes in the eastern part of the country over the weekend led to calls for more U.S. economic sanctions against Russia. At least three people were killed in Slovyansk, Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said, as a top security official accused Russia of exploiting the violence to prepare grounds for an invasion.

The shootouts added to skepticism about whether Ukraine, the U.S. and the European Union will be able to use an April 17 Geneva accord to hold President Vladimir Putin accountable for easing tensions that the Russian president says he had no role in creating.

Home Depot gained 0.9 percent to $77.79. The shares may rise to $95 as the weather improves and the housing market expands, Barron’s reported.

Halliburton climbed 1 percent to $61.51 before reporting quarterly earnings. The stock closed at its highest price since at least 1980 last week.

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