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US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow to open higher on upbeat corporate earnings; Fed meeting in focus

Stock MarketsJan 26, 2021 15:00
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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock
markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
* GE jumps as free cash flow tops estimates
* J&J up on upbeat 2021 profit outlook; vaccine data "soon"
* Futures: Dow rises 0.20%, S&P up 0.08%, Nasdaq dips 0.08%

(Adds comments, details; Updates market prices)
By Devik Jain and Medha Singh
Jan 26 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow were set to open
slightly higher on Tuesday, helped by positive earnings updates
from a slew of companies including General Electric and Johnson
& Johnson, while the Federal Reserve kicked off its two-day
policy meeting.
General Electric Co GE.N jumped about 7% premarket after
the industrial conglomerate offered an upbeat outlook for its
business this year and reported a surge in quarterly free cash
flow. L4N2K12D8
Johnson & Johnson JNJ.N rose 1.7% after the drugmaker
forecast 2021 profit above estimates and promised data from its
widely watched coronavirus vaccine trial soon. "So far earnings have been really strong and the market is
looking forward to some of the big tech names starting to report
earnings today," said Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst
at Baird, in Milwaukee.
Tech heavyweights Microsoft Corp MSFT.O and Advanced Micro
Devices Inc AMD.O rose about 1% each ahead of their earnings
reports expected after markets close.
Few if any changes are expected in the central bank's policy
statement at the end of the meeting on Wednesday, with Fed Chair
Jerome Powell likely to address inflation in his post-meeting
news conference. In a volatile trading session on Monday, the S&P 500 and the
Nasdaq closed at record levels. With the S&P 500 trading at 22 times the 12-month forward
earnings, concerns about stock bubbles on Wall Street are
sparking fears of a pullback. Investors are keeping an eye out
for forecasts from corporate America to justify these higher
valuations. The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday raised its
forecast for global economic growth in 2021, but warned of
"exceptional uncertainty" amid risks from new waves of COVID-19
infections and variants. Investors are watching progress in stimulus talks, with U.S.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying on Monday that
Democrats may try to pass much of President Joe Biden's proposed
$1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill using a process that would
bypass a Republican filibuster and could pass with a majority
vote. "There is a little optimism that there's a path to
compromise on stimulus," Mayfield said.
At 08:27 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis 1YMcv1 were up 61 points, or
0.20% and S&P 500 E-minis EScv1 were up 3 points, or 0.08%.
Nasdaq 100 E-minis NQcv1 were down 10.25 points, or 0.08%.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc REGN.O gained 1.8% after the
drugmaker said its antibody cocktail was effective in preventing
COVID-19 infection, based on interim results from a late-stage
study. 3M Co MMM.N , which makes N95 face masks and Post-it notes,
added 1.5% after it reported a higher quarterly profit helped by
an increase in demand for its healthcare products during the
pandemic.

US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow to open higher on upbeat corporate earnings; Fed meeting in focus
 

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