* IBM, Intel fall after results
* SXC Health Solutions to buy Catalyst Health
* 22 S&P 500 companies due to report earns Wed
* Futures off: Dow 38 pts, S&P 3.4 pts, Nasdaq 9 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, April 18 U.S. stock index futures
dipped on Wednesday after the S&P 500 tallied its biggest gain
in a month and ahead of another round of corporate earnings.
The benchmark S&P on Tuesday climbed 1.55 percent, its
biggest percentage gain since March 13, after Coca-Cola Co
led a round of solid earnings reports and after concerns
eased over the euro zone debt crisis.
"What we've seen lately is when we see one and a half
percent moves here, up or down, the markets tend to take a pause
the next day, as opposed to snapping back that one and a half
percent the other way," said Keith Bliss, senior vice president
at Cuttone & Co in New York.
According to Thomson Reuters data, 22 companies in the S&P
500 were expected to report results on Wednesday. Including
American Express Co, Qualcomm Inc and eBay Inc
Of the 39 S&P 500 companies reporting earnings before
Tuesday's opening bell, 74.4 percent beat estimates.
International Business Machines Corp shed 2.4
percent to $202.50 in premarket trade after reporting quarterly
profit late Tuesday that beat expectations but revenue missed
"If we get declining sales and revenue across the board in
these companies that are reporting in the first quarter, then we
really need to take a pause and try to figure out what the
proper valuation for the stock market is, and I'm not sure the
proper valuation is up at these levels right now," said
Intel Corp dropped 3.2 percent to $27.55 premarket
after the chipmaker said late Tuesday sales would accelerate in
the second half of the year, but the costs of upgrading its
chipmaking factories were temporarily hurting margins.
S&P 500 futures fell 3.4 points and were below 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 lost 38
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures declined 9 points.
BlackRock Inc, the world's largest asset manager,
said first-quarter profits were steady, bolstered by strong
inflows into its popular iShares exchange-traded funds.
Halliburton Co advanced 1.4 percent to $33.10 in
premarket after the world's second-largest oilfield services
company reported higher quarterly profits as North American
revenue reached a record high.
Diversified U.S. manufacturer Textron Inc quadrupled
its quarterly profit, helped by a strong recovery in demand for
business aircraft and helicopters. Textron shares gained 1.3
percent to $28 premarket.
Nestle SA, the world's biggest food group, is near
a deal to buy Pfizer Inc's infant nutrition business for
up to $10 billion to boost its China business and extend its
lead in the baby formula milk sector, sources said.
SXC Health Solutions Corp will buy pharmacy
benefit manager Catalyst Health Solutions Inc for about
$4.4 billion. Catalyst shares jumped 32.2 percent to $84 and
U.S.-listed shares of SXC climbed 8.5 percent to $87.10.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc Chief Executive Warren
Buffett said he has stage 1 prostate cancer but his condition
"is not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any
European shares fell 0.6 percent as losses in
utilities outweighed strength in miners.
Asian shares rose as firm demand at a Spanish debt sale and
positive U.S. corporate earnings boosted investor confidence in