Stock futures up with Apple, Boeing; Fed eyed

NEW YORK – US stock index futures rose on Wednesday, boosted by earnings including from Apple and Boeing, while focus could shift later in the day to the Federal Reserve’s first two-day policy meeting of the year.

* The Fed is expected to signal it remains on track to begin raising interest rates later this year, as it shows confidence that low inflation and rising risks from abroad have yet to derail the US economic recovery.

* Nasdaq futures rallied more than 1 per cent powered by a 9 per cent advance in Apple shares. Apple’s quarterly results smashed Wall Street expectations with record sales of big-screen iPhones in the holiday shopping season, which helped the company post the largest profit in corporate history.

* Yahoo gained 6.7 per cent after it unveiled plans to spin off its 15 per cent stake in Alibaba Group Holding, responding to pressure to hand over to shareholders its e-commerce investment valued at roughly $ 40 billion.

* Boeing added 4.1 per cent premarket after posting its earnings results and outlook.

* US Steel Corp’s shares added 8.4 per cent the day after its profit beat expectations. Though the company warned that low oil prices and the strong US dollar could negatively impact its business in 2015, it said the potential for higher consumer spending could help lift demand.

Futures snapshot at 7:37 a.m. EST (1237 GMT):

* S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 8.75 points, or 0.43 per cent, with 155,107 contracts changing hands.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 51 points, or 1.22 per cent, in volume of 33,892 contracts.

* Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 36 points, or 0.21 per cent, with 29,381 contracts changing hands.

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