Futures Trade Flat, but Techs Edge Higher
U.S. stock index futures hovered around the flatline Wednesday as investors digested a batch of corporate earnings results and following the recent rally that took major averages to their best levels in more than five years.
Among tech earnings, Google rallied after the search-engine giant posted earnings that topped expectations. IBM also gained after the technology services company reported quarterly results that exceeded projections, thanks to growth in emerging markets.
Also among earnings, United Technologies edged higher after the conglomerate also beat expectations, even though profit actually declined. Fellow Dow component McDonald's climbed after the fast-food giant topped earnings and revenue expectations, but warned that it sees sales lower early in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, Coach plunged after the leather-goods retailer reported holiday quarter sales below Wall Street estimates as a tough economy and stiff competition in the women's handbags segment hurt sales in North America.
Investors will be closely watching iPhone maker Apple's quarterly results after the closing bell. Shares of the tech giant have tumbled nearly 30 percent from their all-time high of $705 a share last September. Analysts expect Apple to earn $13.41 a share on revenue of $54.7 billion. (Read More: Apple Earnings Need to Overcome Technical Malaise)
JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon hit back at regulators and critics who say investment banks are too opaque.
"Businesses can be opaque. They are complex. You don't know how aircraft engines work either," he said during a panel of policymakers and heads of financial firms, hosted by CNBC at the World Economic Forum. (Read More: JPMorgan CEO Hits Back at Regulators in Davos)
In political news, a measure to extend the federal debt ceiling until mid-May moved closer to fruition after House Speaker John Boehner indicated Republicans will support it.
Boehner said the measure would be tied to a provision that would suspend the pay of lawmakers if they do not agree to a budget by April 15. A vote is expected on Wednesday.
"I think the American people understand you can not continue to spend money you do not have," Boehner said. (Read More: GOP Moves to Suspend Debt Ceiling Until May)
On the economic front, mortgage applications gained for the third-straight week, thanks to an increased demand for refinancings, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
In Europe, tech and healthcare stocks were among the gainers after SAP issued guidance for 2013 operating profit that beatmarket expectations and Swiss drug maker Novartis said it expects sales growth to pick up in 2014. (Read More: Complete Earnings Coverage)
—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
Coming Up This Week:
WEDNESDAY: Earnings from Apple, F5 Networks, Netflix, Sandisk, Symantec, Western Digital
THURSDAY: Jobless claims, PMI manufacturing index flash, leading indicators, oil inventories, Fed balance sheet/money supply; Earnings from 3M, Bristol-Myers, Nokia, Xerox, AT&T, Microsoft, E-Trade, Juniper Networks, Starbucks
FRIDAY: New home sales, Geithner's last day as Treasury Secretary, House recess until Feb. 4; Earnings from P&G, Halliburton, Honeywell, Kimberly-Clark
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