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US STOCKS-Wall St set for flat open with focus on Washington budget talks
October 15, 2013 / 1:18 PM / 4 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set for flat open with focus on Washington budget talks

* Citigroup adjusted profit hit by bond trading slowdown; shares dip

* U.S. senators hint at possible fiscal deal on Tuesday

* NY factory growth slows in Oct to weakest since May -NY Fed

* Futures mixed: Dow up 7 pts, S&P down 0.8 pts, Nasdaq up 6.25 pts

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set for a flat open on Tuesday after a four-session rally on the S&P 500 as investors focused on developments in the budget talks and a batch of corporate earnings including Citigroup.

On Day 15 of the U.S. government shutdown, Congress showed signs of giving way to a Senate deal to reopen federal agencies and prevent an economically damaging default on federal debt. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, ended a day of talks with optimistic proclamations.

In earnings, Citigroup Inc reported a marginal fall in adjusted quarterly profit from ongoing businesses after the Federal Reserve’s decision to continue its bond-buying program for longer than expected slowed trading by clients. The stock was off 0.7 percent at $49.27.

S&P 500 futures lost 0.8 points and were in line with 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 7 points while Nasdaq 100 futures added 6.25 points.

Futures were higher prior to Citigroup’s results on signs of progress in Washington toward a deal to reopen the government and lift the debt ceiling as the Oct. 17 deadline looms.

In a busy day of earnings, nine companies representing 5.1 percent of the S&P 500 index report results including Yahoo! Inc and Intel Corp after the bell.

As of Monday’s close, 31 companies representing 7.3 percent of S&P 500’s market-cap had reported with revenues matching expectations and earnings beating by 6.2 percent, largely due to financial companies, according to Jonathan Golub, chief U.S. market strategist at RBC Capital Markets in New York.

Johnson & Johnson reported stronger-than-expected quarterly results on strong growth for its prescription drugs, including new treatments for cancer and to prevent blood clots, and the company slightly raised its full-year profit forecast. The stock was up 1.3 percent at $91.00.

Coca-Cola Co reported higher earnings and lower revenue on Tuesday, helped by strong global sales of its Coca-Cola brand products but challenged by volatility in some parts of Europe. The stock was up 0.9 percent at $38.26.

Christopher Bailey, the designer credited with restoring the cachet to fashion brand Burberry, is to become chief executive next year when long-standing boss Angela Ahrendts will move to Apple.

Ahrendts, who has been Burberry boss for eight years, during which its share price soared about 250 percent, will take up a newly created position at Apple as a senior vice president with oversight of retail and online stores. She will report directly to CEO Tim Cook. Apple shares sere up 0.3 percent at $497.71 in premarket trade.

Shares of Teradata Corp fell nearly 15 percent to $44.90 in premarket trade. The data analytics firm cut its full-year earnings forecast by about 10 percent.

Data showed the pace of growth in New York state’s manufacturing sector slipped this month to its slowest since May, but business optimism stayed strong. Market reaction was muted.

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