STOCKS-Futures rise amid earnings

* Schlumberger to buy Smith Int. for $11.34 bln in stocks

* Lowe’s reports better-than expected earnings

* Futures up: Dow 19 pts, S&P 500 3.3 pts, Nasdaq 7 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US]

By Edward Krudy

NEW YORK, Feb 22 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures rose
on Monday after Schlumberger Ltd agreed to buy Smith
International for $11.34 billion in stock and Lowe’s Co. posted
better-than-expected earnings.

Schlumberger Ltd (SLB.N: ) agreed to buy Smith International
(SII.N: ) in a $11.34 billion all-stock deal that will boost the
oilfield services leader’s revenue to double that of its
nearest rival. [ID:nN21150468]

“Schlumberger’s move should set a positive early tone to
the market adding confidence that the economy is on the road to
recovery,” said Andre Bakhos, president of Princeton Financial
Group in North Brunswick, New Jersey.

Schlumberger’s shares fell 5.6 percent to $60.30 in
premarket trade while Smith International rose 7.2 percent to
$40.40.

Lowe’s Co (LOW.N: ), the No. 2 U.S. home improvement store,
posted earnings of $0.14 a share, compared to an expected $0.12
for the fourth quarter. The company, seen as indicator for the
consumer’s willingness to spend, said it expected sales to rise
1 percent to 3 percent in the current quarter. [ID:nN21173321]

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) rose 3.3 points and were above fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures (DJc1: ) rose 19
points and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) added 7 points.

Five former Treasury secretaries urged Congress on Sunday
to bar banks that receive federal support from engaging in
speculative activity unrelated to basic bank services, adding
weight to calls for increased regulation of the financial
sector. [ID:nN21171719]

President Barack Obama will pitch his bid to revamp the
U.S. healthcare system as a way to control big insurance
company rate increases when he releases his healthcare plan on
Monday, the White House said. Healthcare reform has been a
wildcard for markets. [ID:nN21164193]

U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) rose on Friday as investors took the Federal
Reserve’s discount rate increase as evidence that the financial
system is healing but worried that the eventual withdrawal of
easy money will hurt Wall Street.

Stock Market Analysis

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Theodore d’Afflisio)

STOCKS-Futures rise amid M&A, earnings