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Futures Up as Banks Surge, Apple Gains

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a positive open for Wall Street Wednesday after better-than-expected earnings from Apple that came after the bell Tuesday.

Technology shares were poised to gain the most, after Apple's record revenue numbers helped to offset a disappointing report fromYahoo.

Apple shares gained 3.8 percent in premarket trading, though Yahoo tumbled 7 percent.

Bank earnings continued to boost the market, with Morgan Stanley rising about 3 percent after it easily beat estimatesand Wells Fargo jumping 5 percent on its own strong report.

Dow component Coca-Cola also helped boost early sentiment, beating estimates with a profit of $1.06 a share. Its shares gained about 1 percent premarket.

Former Dow component Altria met estimates with earnings of 50 cents a share, sending its shares off 1.7 percent.

European shares were higher across the board with technology firms leading the gains in the wake of Apple's numbers. Asian indexes closed mixed, but mostly higher.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is set to begin his semi-annual economic testimony before Congress at the Senate Banking Committee at 2 pm New York time, instead of the usual 10 am. Investors will be looking for clues on the Fed's outlook for the economy and fiscal policy.

Quarterly reports are also due from Abbott Labs, Stanley Black & Decker, and U.S. Bancorp, among others. Ebay, Qualcomm, and Starbucks will deliver after-the-bell reports.

Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
XTG
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EBAY
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KO
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MO
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QCOM
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SBUX
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SWK
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USB
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UTX
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WFC
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In other news, BP denied a report that CEO Tony Hayward would soon step down, a day after confirming $7 billion in asset sales to help meet the cost of the Gulf cleanup. Shares of BP were higher in London trading, but closed lower in New York trading Tuesday.

Wal-Mart also could be worth watching after the world's largest retailer faces a potentially costly class-action lawsuit in Colorado accusing it of trying to limit health care compensation for injured employees.

And the Wall Street Journal reports that AIG has chosen Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to coordinate an IPO for its Asian unit, AIA.

- Peter Schacknow, Senior Producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk, contributed to this report.