* S&P futures up 0.8 points, reverse earlier losses
* European equities hit 2-week highs
* Gains seen short-lived as fiscal cliff looms
By Toni Vorobyova
LONDON, Nov 7 U.S. stock index futures pointed
to a solid start on Wall Street on Wednesday after Barack
Obama's presidential election victory removed uncertainty and
paved the way for continued economic stimulus.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.8 points by 0938 GMT,
having reversed earlier losses after challenger Mitt Romney
conceded defeat. Under Obama, the Federal Reserve is expected to
continue with its 'quantitative easing' stimulus programme,
lending continued support to financial markets and the economy.
Nasdaq 100 futures rose 3.8 points, though Dow Jones
industrial average futures were down 9 points in volatile
European morning trade.
Investors remained sceptical about the scale and durability
of equity gains, with the focus now likely to turn to the
"fiscal cliff" of some $600 billion in spending cuts and tax
increases that are due to kick in next year and could derail the
U.S. economic recovery.
"We have seen a euphoric rally over the Obama victory ... It
is down to the fact that there will be less pressure on the Fed
to change policy," said Stewart Richard, chief investment
officer at London-based RMG, which holds a long position in U.S.
equities partially hedged through implied volatility.
"But the upside in the very short term is limited because of
the fiscal cliff issue. We don't intend to chase this rally."
U.S. futures also signalled to a more cautious mood than the
European cash equity markets, which climbed to two-week highs.
Although markets had expected an Obama victory, most traders
and investors had backed Romney, who was seen as more
pro-business and had raised more money on Wall Street.
Coal and defence shares had been seen as potential
beneficiaries in case of a Romney win, although overall
investors agreed that uncertainty would have been the worst
"What appears to be a decisive victory by President Obama in
the U.S. presidential election will at least remove concerns of
a prolonged period of uncertainty following what could have been
a closely contested result," analysts at Credit Agricole CIB
said in a note.
"Obama will now face the colossal task of resolving the
looming fiscal cliff. Other indicators are not particularly
rosy, with the Baltic Dry Index extending its declines
overnight, perhaps indicating renewed growth concerns while the
East coast of the U.S. is bracing for another storm, hot on the
heels of Sandy."
Aside from digesting the election results, investors will
also stay focused on third-quarter earnings, which have so far
seen 68 percent of U.S. blue chips beat or meet earnings
expectations, according to Thomson Reuters Starmine.
Shares in Rupert Murdoch's News Corp rose after the
bell on Tuesday when the group reported forecast-beating
Companies reporting on Wednesday include Kraft Foods Group
, Macy's and Time Warner.
The S&P 500 closed 0.8 percent higher at 1,428.39 points on