October 19, 2009 / 12:00 PM / 9 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures rise on earnings optimism

* Corporate earnings lift recovery hopes

* BB&T posts lower Q3 profit

* Hasbro earnings top view; revs fall short

* Futures up: Dow 51 pts, S&P 500 6.3 pts, Nasdaq 10.25 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US] (Adds BB&T earnings)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Oct 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday, as the outlook for corporate earnings lifted investor optimism about the vitality of an economic recovery.

Hasbro Inc HAS.N posted higher-than-expected quarterly profit Monday, lifted by a demand for movie-related toys, although revenue fell short of the Wall Street view. [ID:nN19363695]

BB&T Corp (BBT.N) slipped 2.1 percent to $27.66 in premarket trade after the regional bank reported that third-quarter profit decreased by 56 percent, but said early indicators of problem loans were largely stable compared with the second quarter. For details, see [ID:nWNAB0510]

Other key earnings on tap include iPhone maker Apple Inc (AAPL.O), newspaper publisher Gannett Co Inc (GCI.N) and chipmaker Texas Instruments Inc TXN.N.

“So far most of the companies that have come out, while a few have missed, they have all beat market expectations,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York.

“But the real focus is on the revenue growth and of course on guidance and all companies. Even the companies that disappointed in revenue growth did have somewhat of a rosier forecast, and that is the reason why we see continued enthusiasm for equities,” Cardillo said.

S&P 500 futures SPc1 rose 6.30 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 DJc1 added 51 points, while Nasdaq futures NDc1 gained 10.25 points.

China’s gross domestic product grew more than 7 percent in the first nine months, a senior official from the National Development and Reform Commission said Monday. Speaking at a news conference, Xiong Bilin said China would have no difficulty reaching the government’s full-year GDP growth target of 8 percent.

General Electric Co (GE.N) and Vivendi SA (VIV.PA) are about $500 million apart in talks over what Vivendi should be paid for its NBC Universal stake, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

European shares were higher in early Monday trade after Friday’s retreat, with banking and commodity stocks taking the lead. [ID:nLJ711997]

Asian shares hovered near 14-month highs Monday, shaking off an early dip after disappointing earnings from U.S. corporate bellwethers such as GE spurred some profit-taking. [ID:nLJ717426]

U.S. stocks dropped on Friday after disappointing results from GE and Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) demonstrated the road to economic recovery will be bumpy.

Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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