* Travelers rises in premarket after earnings
* 70 S&P 500 companies to report earnings this week
* Lenovo resumes talks to buy IBM's low-end server unit
* Futures up: Dow 57 pts, S&P 4.25 pts, Nasdaq 15.50 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Jan 21 U.S. stock index futures rose
on Tuesday, putting the S&P on track to snap a two-day losing
streak as investors turned their focus to corporate earnings
* Travelers Cos Inc gained 2.4 percent to $88.50 in
light premarket trading after the insurance provider posted a
more than three-fold rise in fourth-quarter profit.
* Other Dow components due to report earnings on Tuesday
include Verizon Communications Inc, Johnson & Johnson
<JNJ.N and IBM. For the week, 70 S&P 500
companies are scheduled to report.
* According to Thomson Reuters data, earnings for the
fourth quarter are expected to grow 7 percent over the prior
year. Of the 45 companies in the benchmark S&P index that have
reported through Friday, 49 percent have topped analyst
expectations, below both the long-term average of 63 percent and
the average over the past four quarters of 66 percent.
* As the Federal Reserve has embarked on its plan to reduce
economic stimulus, investors will closely monitor corporate
profits for signs of growth. About eight companies have issued
negative outlooks for every positive one, which would mark the
lowest ratio on record should it continue.
* S&P 500 e-mini futures gained 4.25 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
57 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 15.5 points.
* Baker Hughes Inc, the world's third-largest
oilfield services company, reported a slightly
higher-than-expected quarterly profit, helped by a rise in
revenue from the Middle East and Africa. Its shares edged up 0.7
percent to $54.50 in light premarket trading.
* China's Lenovo Group Ltd has resumed talks to
buy IBM's low-end server unit, a source familiar with the matter
said, a purchase that would bolster its efforts to diversify
beyond a shrinking PC market.
* Anheuser-Busch InBev SA, the world's biggest
brewer, agreed to buy back South Korea's Oriental Brewery Co Ltd
for $5.8 billion including debt, returning to a large Asian
market at a time of strong industry growth across the region.
U.S.-listed shares of Anheuser gained 2.9 percent to
$104.42 in premarket.
* Alcoa Inc advanced 2.3 percent to $11.62 before the
opening bell after JP Morgan upgraded the stock to an
"overweight" from a neutral" rating and boosted its price target
to $15 from $9 per share.
* European shares edged higher as moves to defuse a cash
squeeze in China offset a batch of disappointing corporate
* Asian markets sprang higher on Tuesday as Japanese stocks
rebounded and Chinese money rates eased, while the U.S. dollar
edged up from a report the Federal Reserve would again trim its
bond buying next week.