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U.S Index Futures Advance After S&P 500 Slumps Most Since April

July 18 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stock-index futures climbed, following the biggest drop since April for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as companies from Google Inc. to General Electric Co. reported earnings.

Google rose 2.1 percent in early New York trading after it posted revenue that exceeded analysts’ estimates. GE gained 1.3 percent. Skyworks Solutions Inc. jumped 7.9 percent after forecasting higher fourth-quarter sales and earnings than analysts had projected. International Business Machines Corp. fell 1.4 percent after reporting that revenue dropped for a ninth quarter.

Futures on the S&P 500 expiring in September advanced 0.3 percent to 1,958.5 at 7:20 a.m. in New York. The equity gauge fell 1.2 percent yesterday, extending its weekly drop to 0.5 percent, on rising concern over tension in Ukraine and the Middle East. Dow Jones Industrial Average contracts rose 20 points, or 0.1 percent, to 16,961 today.

“There will be a greater level of uncertainty in the market today with yesterday’s events in Ukraine,” Nick Skiming, who helps manage $10 billion at Ashburton Ltd., said by phone from Jersey, in the Channel Islands. “The U.S. is in a good place right now, with positive results from several domestically-focused companies. The U.S. economy is moving along quite nicely. I’m expecting a modestly rising trend in sentiment as a result.”

Ukraine Crisis

A Malaysian Airlines jet went down over eastern Ukraine yesterday, killing all 298 people on board, just a day after the U.S. and the European Union imposed further sanctions on Russia over the conflict. The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting over the incident today. The S&P 500 extended its losses yesterday after reports that Israel began a ground operation in the Gaza Strip.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index, the gauge of S&P 500 options prices known as the VIX, rallied 32 percent yesterday, the most since April 2013, closing at 14.54, a three-month high.

A gauge of consumer sentiment probably rose this month. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary sentiment index advanced to 83, according to the median economist forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. It climbed to 82.5 in June. The Conference Board’s index of U.S. leading indicators probably increased 0.5 percent in June, the estimates show.

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