US STOCKS-Futures gain as voters head to polls; Fed eyed

* Pfizer falls after sales come in below estimates

* Fed’s two-day meeting begins later in the day

* Futures up: S&P 6.3 pts, Dow 51 pts, Nasdaq 10 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates prices, adds quote, byline)

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Nov 2 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures rose
on Tuesday as investors awaited results from the mid-term
elections and the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s
policy-setting meeting.

Voters could sweep Democrats from power in Congress and
slam the brakes on U.S. President Barack Obama’s legislative
agenda. Polls indicated Republicans will gain control of the
U.S. House of Representatives, while Democrats retain control
of the Senate. For details, see [ID:nN01165335]

The Fed is expected to announce a program of large-scale
asset purchases on Wednesday following a two-day meeting.
Expectations the Fed will inject at least $500 billion into the
economy are already built into the market. For a PDF special
report, see

“This is kind of a historic week. There’s an awful lot of
anticipation, so whatever good or bad news that’s expected,
depending on your perspective, has been priced in. There’s an
element of waiting and seeing in markets right now,” said
Duncan Richardson, chief equity investment officer at Eaton
Vance in Boston.

“The prospect of good news has been priced in, so if
there’s disappointment the market could easily pull back 5 or
even 10 percent. But valuations are at such levels that I would
advise investors to take advantage of any pullback. I think
upside for the rest of the year is more likely than a

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) rose 6.3 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: ) gained 51
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) rose 10 points.

One day ahead of the Fed announcement, Australia’s central
bank surprised markets by raising its key cash rate to a
two-year high of 4.75 percent on Tuesday, saying a modest hike
was a prudent move against inflation. [ID:nSGE6A106T]

On the earnings front, Pfizer Inc (PFE.N: ) reported sales
far below estimates early Tuesday. [ID:nN02202446] The stock
fell 0.5 percent in premarket trade to $17.53.

Investors also awaited quarterly scorecards from Kellogg Co
(K.N: ) and MasterCard Inc (MA.N: ).

In other earnings news, British oil major BP Plc
(BP.L: )(BP.N: ) raised its estimate on the likely cost of its Gulf
of Mexico oil spill to $40 billion. Its underlying profit beat
expectations on higher refining margins and a lower tax rate.
[ID:nLDE6A109C] U.S.-traded shares of BP (BP.N: ) rose 1.5
percent to $41.39 premarket.

Dow Chemical Co (DOW.N: ) expects to earn $3.50 to $5.50 per
share per year in the “near term,” suggesting a possible
widening from a 2012 target of $4 to $4.50 it gave last year.

Google Inc (Read more about Google Stock Analysis) (GOOG.O: ) sued the U.S. government for excluding
its products from being considered for a five-year contract
worth about $59 million to upgrade the Department of the
Interior’s email system. [ID:nN01169155]

U.S. securities regulators are investigating whether
JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: ) adequately disclosed that a hedge
fund helped to select assets for a $1.1 billion package of
subprime mortgages, and the fund also bet against parts of the
deal, a investigative journalism website reported.

The U.S. benchmark S&P 500 index (.SPX: ) has risen 12.9
percent since the start of September on hopes for Republican
gains in Tuesday’s elections and further Fed action. Trading
volume was light on Monday, and a 1 percent rally early was
erased as investors turned cautious.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Futures gain as voters head to polls; Fed eyed