US STOCKS-Wall St to open flat after earnings, stress tests due

* Microsoft, Ford profits top estimates

* European data positive ahead of bank stress tests

* Futures: Dow up 13 pts, S&P up 0.1 pt, Nasdaq off 1.75

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

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, July 23 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures
pointed to a flat open on Friday as another batch of solid
corporate results eased fears of a worsening economy, but gains
were muted ahead of European stress tests results.

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: ) edged up 1 percent to $26.09 in
premarket trading after easily beating estimates with a 48
percent rise in quarterly profit. For details, see

Ford Motor Co (F.N: ) jumped 5.1 percent to $12.70 after the
automaker posted stronger-than-expected earnings and said it
was on track to be profitable in 2010. [ID:nN23252485]

Diversified U.S. manufacturer Honeywell International Inc
(HON.N: ) recorded a 4 percent rise in profit and boosted its
forecast, citing recovering demand. Its shares advanced 1
percent to $43.10.

Ingersoll-Rand Plc (IR.N: ), a maker of cooling systems, had
a higher-than-expected quarterly profit and said order trends
suggested a stronger 2010 than previously thought. Shares were
off 2.1 percent at $36.03.

“The market is coming to the realization that this recovery
is going to be slower than we all thought six months ago,” said
Terry Morris, senior vice president and senior equity manager
for National Penn Investors Trust Co in Reading, Pennsylvania.

“Sales and revenue are maybe not so bad and on the
comeback. It’s a mixed bag, but on balance, the tone is …
pretty respectable.”

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) edged up 0.1 point and were slightly
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: )
advanced 13 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) fell 1.75

Solid economic data in Europe also helped support markets,
as Britain’s economy grew almost twice as fast as expected in
the second quarter and German business sentiment leaped by a
record margin in July. [ID:nLDE66M0RN] and [ID:nLDE66M0JV]

The data cheered investors ahead of the European banking
stress tests results due at noon EDT [1600 GMT]. In an effort
to ease fears over the potential impact of the euro zone debt
crisis on Europe’s banking system, regulators assessed how 91
banks would cope with another downturn. [ID:nLDE66L1XU]

Shares of Dow component McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N: ) slipped 1.2
percent to $70.52 after quarterly same-store sales were weaker
than expected. [ID:nN23273356] Inc’s (AMZN.O: ) profit fell short of estimates,
hurt by a 40 percent jump in expenses and price cuts on its
Kindle electronic reader. Its shares dropped 11.4 percent to
$106.41 in premarket.

Stock Basics

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Wall St to open flat after earnings, stress tests due