Apr 24, 2014 9:21 AM by Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) - U.S. stock futures rose sharply 30 minutes before the opening bell as investors cheered strong earnings from Apple and Facebook. Investors also were encouraged by a positive report on orders for long-lasting goods.
KEEPING SCORE: Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 40 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,500. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures climbed nine points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,882 and technology-heavy Nasdaq futures jumped 60 points, or nearly 2 percent, to 3,615.
APPLE SOARS: Apple rose $44.42, or 8.5 percent, to $569.30 in pre-market trading. The company reported a profit late Wednesday of $10.2 billion, or $11.62 a share, beating forecasts. It also announced it would increase its share buyback program from $60 billion to $90 billion, raise its quarterly dividend, and split its stock seven-for-one.
FACEBOOK JOINS THE PARTY: Facebook was up $3.10, or 5 percent, to $64.46. The social media company reported a profit of 34 cents a share, well ahead of analysts' estimates.
DURABLE GOODS: Orders to U.S. factories for long-lasting manufactured goods rose solidly for a second straight month in March. Orders increased 2.6 percent, following a 2.1 percent rise in February, the Commerce Department said. The back-to-back gains followed two big declines in December and January, which had raised concerns about possible weakness in manufacturing, The earlier declines, however, were likely tied to bad winter weather.
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