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* Intel gains on report of Apple buying modem business
* Biogen rises on quarterly profit beat
* Hasbro gains on better-than-expected quarterly revenue
* Futures up: Dow 0.31%, S&P 0.27%, Nasdaq 0.37%
By Amy Caren Daniel
July 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures inched higher on Tuesday lifted by a batch of largely upbeat earnings reports from companies including Coca-Cola and United Technologies, that soothed concerns over the pace of economic growth.
Second-quarter earnings last week were mixed, but last 24 hours have seen investors react positively to a series of releases, albeit often against expectations for profits, which have been lowered due to this year’s concerns over growth.
The overall profits of S&P companies are now estimated to rise about 1%, according to Refinitiv IBES data, improving from estimates of a small decline earlier.
Coca-Cola Co shares rose 2.2% after the fizzy drink maker beat quarterly revenue for the ninth straight quarter and raised its revenue forecast for the full year, boosted by demand for its sparkling soft drinks and coffees.
Industrial conglomerate United Technologies Corp> gained 2.6% after raising its full-year profit and sales outlook, helped by an increase in demand for aircraft parts and spares.
Expectations that the U.S. central bank would adopt a looser monetary policy to counter the impact of a protracted U.S.-China trade war have helped Wall Street’s main indexes scale new record levels. The S&P 500 index is now just 1% shy of its all-time high.
“Earnings season in the U.S. in general seems to be fairly bullish. There doesn’t seem to be too many profit warnings and the outlook at the moment for the second half don’t seem to hint at too many nasty surprises,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell in London.
Among the investor favorite FAANG group of stocks — Facebook Inc is scheduled to post results after the bell on Wednesday, while Amazon.com Inc and Google-parent Alphabet Inc will report on Thursday.
At 6:56 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 84 points, or 0.31%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 8 points, or 0.27% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 29 points, or 0.37%.
The European Central Bank is expected to cut interest rates on Thursday by 10 basis points and the Federal Reserve, which will meet a few days later, is widely expected to lower rates by at least 25 basis points.
Among other stocks, drugmaker Biogen Inc gained 2.2% after it beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit and lifted its 2019 adjusted earnings forecast.
Hasbro Inc rose 4.1% after the toymaker reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue, helped by higher demand for action toys.
Intel Corp gained 1.3% after a report that Apple Inc is in advanced talks to buy its smartphone-modem chip business. The iPhone maker’s shares rose 0.3%. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)