* Procter & Gamble dips after outlook
* Ford reports 53 percent increase in China sales
* Deere gains in premarket after quarterly results
* Futures up: Dow 2 pts, S&P 0.75 pt, Nasdaq 3.25 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Feb 12 U.S. stock index futures were
little changed on Wednesday, after a four-day rally left the S&P
500 within striking distance of a fresh record high.
* The benchmark S&P index has risen 3.9 percent over
the past four sessions, its longest winning streak of the year
and best four-day performance in thirteen months. The index now
stands 1.6 percent below its record closing high of 1,848.38 set
on Jan. 15.
* Stocks rose in a broad rally on Tuesday as Congress agreed
to advance legislation extending the borrowing authority of the
United States and after the Federal Reserve's new chief Janet
Yellen made no changes to the central bank's schedule for
* Procter & Gamble Co lost 1.1 percent to $78 in
premarket trading after the world's largest household products
maker cut its sales and earnings outlook for the year on Tuesday
to reflect unfavorable foreign exchange rates in Venezuela and
the devaluation of currencies in various developing markets.
* Deere & Co gained 2 percent to $89.20 before the
opening bell after posting its first-quarter earnings.
* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 0.75 point and were
slightly 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
rose 2 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 3.25
* S&P 500 companies scheduled to report earnings on
Wednesday include Applied Materials Inc, Metlife Inc
, Whole Foods Market Inc and Cisco Systems Inc
* Investors who were shocked by Cisco's dire financial
outlook in its last quarterly earnings report are bracing for
more bad news when the network equipment maker reports results.
* Of 357 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported
earnings through Tuesday 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.
* Ford Motor Co edged up 0.3 percent to $15 before the
opening bell after the automaker and its Chinese joint ventures
reported a 53 percent increase in vehicle sales in China in
* One of Europe's top regional indexes extended its best
winning streak of the year, buoyed by good earnings as well as
bullish data on exports and imports from China, to rise for a
sixth straight session.
* Asian shares rallied for a fourth straight session, as the
trade data from China and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's
optimistic outlook whetted investors' appetite for risk.