* JPMorgan (LSE: JPIU.L – news) edges up in premarket after results
* Norfolk Southern gives weak outlook late Monday
* Nokia in talks to buy Alcatel (Paris: FR0000130007 – news) -Lucent
* Futures down: Dow 12 pts, S&P 2.25 pts, Nasdaq 3.25 pts (Updates with JPMorgan, J&J results)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, April 14 (Reuters) – Dow Futures were flat on Tuesday as a pair of Dow components ticked higher after reporting results, though investors continued to look for confirmation that companies would be able to top lowered expectations this quarter.
JPMorgan Chase and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ – news) were among the first bellwethers to report for this earnings season. Investors are concerned companies may face headwinds from weakness in oil prices and strength in the U.S. dollar.
Financial giant JPMorgan Chase & Co (Xetra: 850628 – news) rose 0.5 percent to $ 62.40 before the bell as the Dow component posted earnings growth after a rebound in fixed-income trading.
J&J reported a drop in first-quarter profit, though revenue topped expectations. Shares (Berlin: DI6.BE – news) edged up 0.2 percent to $ 100.79 in premarket trading.
First (Other OTC: FSTC – news) -quarter profits for S&P 500 companies are seen falling 2.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data. On Jan. 1, analysts were looking for growth of 5.3 percent. Expectations may have come down enough so that companies will be able to top a lowered bar, but with less than 10 percent of the S&P components reporting, investors are still determining this quarter’s trend. This week will see a number of major companies report, including Intel Corp after the market closes on Tuesday.
Late Monday, Norfolk Southern Corp forecast a surprise drop in its first-quarter earnings and revenue.
Nokia Oyj is in talks to buy Alcatel-Lucent SA , a deal that would combine the telecommunications industry’s two weakest players but could pose challenges in cutting costs and overcoming political opposition.
U.S. shares of Nokia fell 7 percent to $ 7.72 in heavy premarket trading while Alcatel rose 3.9 percent to $ 4.52.
Investors are also looking ahead to a reading on retail sales, which are seen rising 1 percent in March.
Futures snapshot at 7:58 a.m.:
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 2.25 points, or 0.11 percent, with 124,253 contracts changing hands.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis fell 3.25 points, or 0.07 percent, in volume of 18,709 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were off 12 points, or 0.07 percent, with 23,355 contracts changing hands. (Editing by Keith Weir and Jeffrey Benkoe)