US STOCKS-Futures higher after Apple, Morgan Stanley results

* Apple, Morgan Stanley post strong earnings

* Bernanke testimony on tap

* Futures up: Dow 29 pts, S&P 4.6 pts, Nasdaq 15.5 pts

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

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, July 21 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures rose
on Wednesday as solid earnings from technology giant Apple
along with financials Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo eased
growth concerns.

Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.) (AAPL.O: ) gained 3.4 percent to $260.51 in
premarket trade after an unusually upbeat revenue forecast
calmed concerns that iPhone 4 antenna problems would dampen
sales. For details, see [ID:nN2096579]

Apple was a bright spot after a string of disappointing
revenue results, including ones from International Business
Machines Corp (IBM.N: ) and chipmaker Texas Instruments Inc
(TXN.N: ).

Investors closely watched top-line numbers for signs of
growth in the economy as recent data has signaled a slowdown.

“Apple broke the streak of companies who beat on earnings
but missed on revenues, and maybe you can gauge some optimism
from investors that maybe there is nothing structurally wrong
with the economy that wouldn’t allow companies to grow if the
products are right,” said Rick Meckler, president of investment
firm LibertyView Capital Management in New York.

“Apple offered some hope that it is not an all-or-nothing
situation, that growth is possible.”

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) gained 4.6 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: ) added 29
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) advanced 15.5 points.

Futures extended gains after Morgan Stanley (MS.N: ) (Read more about the money market today. ) and
Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N: ) gained posted quarterly results.
[ID:nN19193014] and [ID:nASA00JH3]

Morgan Stanley advanced 2.7 percent to $25.90, while Wells
Fargo climbed 3.2 percent to $26.75 premarket.

Diversified U.S. manufacturer United Technologies Corp
(UTX.N: ) reported a 13.7 percent rise in profit and raised its
full-year forecast, saying demand and margins improved.
[ID:nN21208855]

Fellow Dow component Coca-Cola Co (KO.N: ) gained 1.4 percent
to $54 after the soft-drink maker reported higher quarterly
profit on Wednesday, helped by increased revenue and sales
volume. [ID:nN21133189]

BP Plc (BP.L: )(BP.N: ) denied a report its heavily criticized
chief executive would soon leave as the company lined up $7
billion in asset sales to Apache Corp (APA.N: ) to help cover the
cost of the massive Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Separately,
Apache said it will sell 21 million common shares.
[ID:nSGE66K02I]

BP’s U.S.-traded shares gained 4.1 percent to $36.65, while
Apache slipped 1.8 percent to $86.69.

U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, in testimony
before Congress at 2 p.m. EDT [1800 GMT], may provide a fresh
outlook on the health of the world’s biggest economy as well as
policy signals from the central bank.

European stocks climbed for the first time in a week on
Wednesday in a broad rally, with investors scooping up battered
banking shares on hopes the sector’s stress test results will
be reassuring. [ID:nLDE66K0RK]

Asian stocks rose on Apple’s strong earnings and optimism
that China may roll back policy-tightening measures later this
year, while the euro firmed ahead of the euro zone bank stress
test results late in the week. [ID:nLDE66K09S]

Stock Market News

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Futures higher after Apple, Morgan Stanley results