* Yellen, new Fed chair, takes hot seat at Capitol
* Yellen says labor market recovery far from complete
* CVS climbs after results
* Futures up: S&P 1.75 pts; Dow 26 pts; Nasdaq 8.5 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Feb 11 U.S. stocks were set for a
slightly higher open on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chair
Janet Yellen reinforced the Fed's plan to scale back its
market-friendly stimulus while noting the health of the labor
market needed to improve.
In her first public comments as Fed chief, Yellen, giving a
balanced testimony to a House committee, acknowledged recent
volatility in global financial markets but said it did "not pose
a substantial risk to the U.S. economic outlook," and that she
strongly supported the policy approach of her predecessor, Ben
"Obviously it's all about Yellen today," said Peter
Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in
"We are setting ourselves up for what could be a volatile
session if there are any negative surprises, by that I mean if
she is not as dovish as the market may be expecting."
S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 1.75 points and were
slightly 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 26 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 8.5
The central bank has cut its monthly bond-buying program by
$10 billion at each of its last two meetings, reducing the total
amount of purchases to $65 billion.
Sprint Corp, the No. 3 U.S. mobile provider, reported
an increase in quarterly revenue that was ahead of analysts'
expectations and said it added wireless subscribers in the
fourth quarter. The stock was up 7.2 percent to $8.24 in
CVS Caremark Corp posted higher quarterly profit as
it processed more prescriptions and benefited from the
introduction of new generic drugs. The stock rose 1.9 percent to
$68.24 in premarket trading.
Of 345 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings
through Monday morning, 67.8 percent have beaten profit
expectations, above the long-term average of 63 percent,
according to Thomson Reuters data. Almost 66 percent have topped
revenue forecasts, above the historical average of 61 percent.
Conagra Foods lost 5.8 percent to $29.25 before the opening
bell after the maker of Chef Boyardee pastas and Slim Jim beef
jerky cut its full-year profit outlook, citing weaker profits in
its private label business and lower sales of certain key brands
in its consumer foods division.
Infloblox Inc plunged 42.8 percent to $18.97 in
premarket trading after the network equipment maker estimated
second-quarter revenue below analysts' average forecast.
Cadence Pharmaceuticals Inc surged 26.4 percent to
$13.99 in premarket trading after the company agreed to be
acquired by specialty pharmaceuticals company Mallinckrodt Plc
said for about $1.3 billion.