Stock Futures Climb as Intel, Delta Shares Rise on Earnings

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Stock futures moved higher Wednesday morning, buoyed by earnings-driven gains in Intel (INTC – Get Report) and Delta   (DAL) shares.

Stocks have been trading in a tight range this week as investors digest key earnings from the likes of JPMorgan (JPM) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) and try to ascertain the effect of lower oil prices and a stronger U.S. dollar on S&P 500 companies.

Intel reported in-line quarterly profit of 41 cents a share after the bell Tuesday. Revenue of $12.8 billion was up just 0.3% year on year, while second-quarter sales guidance came in light. Management said while the PC market remains a challenge, growth in its data center segment shows promise. Shares climbed 3.2% before the bell on Wednesday.

Delta reported first-quarter profit of 45 cents a share, a penny better than expected, while in-line revenue of $9.39 billion came in 5.3% higher year on year. Shares gained more than 2% in premarket trading.

Bank of America (BAC – Get Report) rebounded to a quarterly profit, earning 27 cents a share in its first quarter compared to a loss of 5 cents a year earlier. Though earnings beat expectations, revenue was on the light side, dropping nearly 6% year on year.

China’s Shanghai Composite dropped more than 1% after official data showed that the second-largest economy grew 7% in the first quarter, its slowest pace in six years and down from 7.3% growth in the fourth quarter. The latest data print underscores calls for the People’s Bank of China to introduce further monetary stimulus to combat sluggishness.

The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged with the refinancing rate at 0.05% and interest rates on its marginal lending facility at 0.3%. At an ECB update meeting, President Mario Draghi was disrupted by a protestor calling to “end ECB dictatorship.” The brief disruption aside, Draghi said risks in the eurozone remain on the downside, though noted they have become “more balanced.”

U.S. crude production is expected to expand at a pace greater than previously forecast, according to the latest outlook from the Energy Information Administration. Production will peak at 10.6 million barrels per day in 2020, a million barrels higher than expectations a year ago. West Texas Intermediate crude was extending gains into a fifth session, gaining 1% to $53.80 a barrel.

Google (GOOGL) shares were under pressure on Wednesday after the European Competition Commissioner filed formal charges against the search engine following a five-year antitrust investigation. The charges alleged Google used its position to push out competitors.

Nokia (NOK) confirmed it is buying Alcatel-Lucent (ALU) for 15.6 billion euros ($16.6 billion) after days of speculation. The combined company will hold a significant foothold in the telecoms equipment industry in Europe. Nokia shares rose 1%, while Alcatel-Lucent dropped 15%.

Online crafts marketplace Etsy is expected to price its IPO Wednesday night at $14 to $16 a share, a range that would raise as much as $267 million and value the company at $1.8 billion.

On the U.S. economic calendar, March industrial production figures will be released at 9:15 a.m. EDT and are expected to shrink 0.3% from growth of 0.1% in February. Mid-afternoon, the Federal Reserve will release its Beige Book, a collection of economic anecdotes from its 12 districts.

Stock Futures Climb as Intel, Delta Shares Rise on Earnings