* Tech shares may rebound after Cisco results
* Fiscal cliff, Europe could drive trading
* Abercrombie, Staples rally after strong results
* October retail sales data on tap, seen down 0.2 pct
* Futures up: Dow 57 pts, S&P 4 pts, Nasdaq 10.5 pts
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Nov 14 U.S. stock index futures rose
on Wednesday, indicating that equities could rebound after a
series of weak sessions on strong results from Cisco and two
The S&P 500 has fallen 3.8 percent over the past five
trading days, with most of the losses driven by uncertainty over
the looming U.S. "fiscal cliff" and concerns about Europe's
The index closed below its 200-day moving average for a
fourth day in a row on Tuesday, a technical indicator that
suggests recent declines could gain momentum.
Trading has been volatile, with positive momentum difficult
"It seems as if every minor rally we get, gets sold into, a
trend that has been both consistent and concerning," said
Christian Wagner, chief executive officer at Longview Capital
Management in Wilmington, Delaware. "This could be the new
normal until the fiscal cliff gets resolved, and that will make
for a difficult environment."
Economic reports on Wednesday include October retail sales,
which are on tap for 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT) and are seen dropping
0.2 percent. In September, sales climbed 1.1 percent. Also, the
minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting will be
released later on Wednesday.
Cisco Systems Inc reported first-quarter earnings
and revenue late Tuesday that beat expectations, sending the
stock soaring 7.3 percent to $18.08 in premarket trading
Wednesday. The networking company and Dow component also
forecast flat earnings and slower revenue growth for the current
Cisco, viewed as a harbinger for spending on information
technology because of its global reach and customers across all
sectors, could lend support to the tech sector.
Technology shares have dropped almost 10 percent
over the past two months, dragged down by earnings
disappointments from Google and others. Tech was the
worst performing sector on Tuesday.
"For Cisco to beat expectations in an environment like this
is great and speaks to the solid management at the company,"
Wagner said. "Hopefully this will do something for the tech
sector, which has been so hurt by Apple lately."
Apple, the most valuable U.S. company, has tumbled
in recent months by 20 percent from its peak.
S&P 500 futures rose 4 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 added 57
points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 10.5 points.
Macroeconomic issues will likely play a major role in how
stocks trade as investors grapple with the impact of Europe's
debt crisis and the fiscal cliff, a series of large, mandated
tax hikes and spending cuts that start to take effect next year.
Analysts say serious fiscal negotiations are still weeks
away, but that the failure to reach a deal in Congress could tip
the world's largest economy into recession.
European shares were 0.5 percent lower as Greece's
unresolved crisis raised questions about the region's potential
for economic growth, while anti-austerity strikes across
southern Europe added to concerns that fiscal reforms would be
politically difficult to implement.
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine
Lagarde said she expected a real solution for Greece rather than
a quick fix.
In earnings news, Abercrombie & Fitch Co soared 25
percent to $39 before the bell after posting a steep rise in its
third quarter. Staples Inc rose 5 percent to $11.81
after posting earnings that beat expectations.
U.S. stocks fell in a volatile session Tuesday, pressured by
Microsoft Corp which fell after the surprise departure
of a key executive. However, retail names outperformed after
Home Depot raised its outlook.