Stock Futures Flat Ahead of Debt Ceiling Vote, Apple Earnings
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were mixed Wednesday as the markets awaited a vote from Washington lawmakers on extending the debt ceiling temporarily, and received some upbeat earnings reports from a number of big tech and blue-chip companies.
McDonald's(MCD) and United Technologies(UTX) shares were edging higher after their announcements Wednesday. Both Google(GOOG) and IBM (IBM) shares were popping more than 4% in premarket trading after their fourth-quarter reports Tuesday evening.
Investors were also looking ahead to Apple's(AAPL) earnings after the markets close Wednesday.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were down 11 points, or 34.79 points above fair value, at 13,685. Futures for the S&P 500 were down 2.25 points, or 0.11 points below fair value, at 1487. Futures for the Nasdaq were up 1.50 points, or 12.81 points above fair value, at 2752.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives is widely expected to vote Wednesday on extending the debt ceiling out to May 19. The decision to temporarily suspend the spending limit is expected to occur between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. EST.
President Barack Obama indicated Tuesday that he would not oppose the plan, while U.S. Senator Harry Reid said he is happy to see the clean debt ceiling legislation in the House, and that it's a "big step in the right direction."
"The worst fears of a disorderly default ... early March won't come to pass apparently," said RBS strategists.
The economic calendar was very thin in the U.S. Wednesday.
The European markets were mostly wavering ahead of the U.S. debt ceiling vote. The FTSE in London was up 0.11% and the DAX in Frankfurt was down 0.01%.
Hong Kong's Hang Seng finished down by 0.10%, and the Nikkei in Japan fell 2.08% as investors remained disappointed at the Bank of Japan's efforts to bolster the economy.
Gold for February delivery was falling $1.30 at $1,691.90 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while March crude oil futures were up 7 cents at $96.75 a barrel.