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U.S. Stock-Index Futures Are Little Changed as Allergan Rallies

April 22 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock futures were little changed, after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rallied five days, amid a $45.7 billion bid for Allergan Inc. and as investors weighed earnings from Xerox Corp. to Netflix Inc.

Allergan surged 19 percent after Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. offered to merge with the maker of the Botox wrinkle treatment. Netflix soared 7.8 percent after saying it expects to increase prices for new customers. Comcast Corp. climbed 0.7 percent after posting quarterly earnings that beat estimates. Xerox sank 5.9 percent after lowering its forecast for 2014 profit.

Futures on the S&P 500 expiring in June added less than 0.1 percent to 1,864.8 at 8:30 a.m. in New York. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts added 5 points, or less than 0.1 percent, to 16,376 today.

“With earnings, companies have been downgrading expectations heading into the season, so it looks like we’ll surprise more to the upside,” David Wartenweiler, chief investment officer at Habib Bank AG, said by telephone from Zurich. “On M&A, CEOs are doing what they should be doing. They’re looking at their portfolios and trying to benefit from opportunities. That should be a tailwind for markets.”

The S&P 500 rose 3.1 percent in the past five trading days, its longest rally since October, as earnings from Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley and Yahoo! Inc. beat analysts’ estimates.

Thirty companies in the equities benchmark disclose results today, while a further 121 members report before the end of the week. Profit for the index’s constituents probably increased 0.7 percent in the first quarter, analysts forecast. They had predicted a 0.9 percent decrease as recently as April 11.

Netflix rallied 7.8 percent to $375.78. The company behind the drama “House of Cards” said that it plans to charge new customers $1 to $2 a month more for its online video service. Netflix currently offers unlimited Web streaming for $7.99 a month. Netflix also reported first-quarter profit and subscriber growth that beat analysts’ forecasts.

Comcast advanced 0.7 percent to $50.25 as the largest U.S. cable company said increased numbers of video subscribers helped it post first-quarter profit of 68 cents a share, excluding some items. That beat the 64 cents that analysts had estimated. Comcast also reported revenue of $17.4 billion. Analysts had predicted $17 billion.

Facebook Inc. rose 2.2 percent to $62.60. Credit Suisse raised its rating on the company to outperform from neutral, and increased its price estimate on the shares by 34 percent to $87. The brokerage said Facebook will increase its average revenue per user in the medium to long term through new products. The company reports earnings tomorrow.

Harley-Davidson Inc. jumped 6.6 percent to $72. The maker of Road King motorbikes reported first-quarter earnings of $1.21 a share, beating the average analyst projection of $1.08. Sales also exceeded projections.

Xerox sank 5.9 percent to $10.79. The company lowered its forecast for full-year earnings and predicted second-quarter profit would fall short of the average analyst estimate.

Allergan jumped 19 percent to $168.31. Valeant proposed to buy the company for about $152.89 a share based on yesterday’s closing price. Pershing Square Capital Management LP, the fund run by Bill Ackman, supports the merger, Valeant added in a statement. Valeant climbed 6.9 percent to $134.75.

A report from the National Association of Realtors at 10 a.m. in Washington will show sales of existing homes fell in March, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

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