US STOCKS-Wall St to gain after worst week in months; Caterpillar up

Mon Jan 27, 2014 9:07am EST

* Caterpillar profit stronger than expected, shares rally

* Apple Inc earnings due after markets close

* Home sales data on tap

* Futures up: Dow 6.8 pts, S&P 50 pts, Nasdaq 5.75 pts

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set for a modest rebound on Monday after its worst week since June 2012, with investors focused on corporate earnings from big names like Caterpillar and Apple.

* Caterpillar Inc shares jumped more than 7 percent in premarket trading after posting stronger-than-expected quarterly profit as the world's largest mining and construction equipment company aggressively cut costs to offset continued sluggish sales of its earth-moving equipment.

* Apple Inc is due to report earnings after the close of trading. The iPhone and iPad maker may notch its most successful holiday shopping season yet, setting records for sales of its gift-friendly iPhones and iPads. It will, however, continue to draw investor scrutiny over sales in ultra-competitive China, its No. 2 market but a drag on revenue and margins in recent quarters.

* In economic news, the Commerce Department's new homes sales numbers for December are due at 10:00 a.m. ET (1500 GMT). The Dallas Fed's manufacturing survey data is due at 10:30 a.m. ET.

* Investors are looking ahead to the outcome of a two-day Federal Reserve policy meeting that begins on Tuesday. Many market participants expect another selloff this week if the Fed decides to keep withdrawing its economic stimulus, further pressuring equities already roiled by a flight from emerging markets last week.

* On Friday, the S&P 500 fell 2.6 percent for the week, closing below its 50-day moving average for the first time since Oct. 9, suggesting more selling may be ahead for the market that closed out 2013 with a 30-percent gain.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 6.8 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 rose 50 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 5.75 points.

* U.S. mobile group AT&T has ruled out a bid for Britain's Vodafone for now, with banking sources saying a U.S. spying scandal and a surge in European telecom shares may have disrupted a deal that many think could still happen. U.S.-listed shares of Vodafone fell 2.3 percent in premarket trade.

* Google Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd , which are frequently involved in patent infringement lawsuits but not against each other, announced on Sunday that they have reached a global patent cross-licensing agreement. Google shares were little changed in premarket trade.

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