US STOCKS-Futures up on hopes stimulus to continue; Tesla stumbles

Reuters

* Tesla drops in premarket after results, outlook

* Microsoft narrows CEO search

* Futures up: Dow 67 pts, S&P 8.8 pts, Nasdaq 12.25 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Nov 6 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose onWednesday on the possibility the Federal Reserve may keepstimulus measures in place longer than anticipated ahead of datakey later this week on the labor market and economic growth.

* John Williams, president of the San Francisco FederalReserve Bank, said Tuesday the Fed should wait for strongerevidence of economic momentum before pulling back on its massivebond-buying program, but should then announce a definitive endto the stimulus.

* Adding to speculation about a more dovish Fed, two of theFederal Reserve's top staff economists made the case in newresearch papers for more aggressive action by the U.S. centralbank to drive down unemployment by promising to hold interestrates lower for longer.

* Many market participants have expected the Fed to hold offon scaling back its $85 billion monthly bond purchases due to expectations that a partial government shutdown in early Octoberhas hurt the economy.

* The S&P 500 is up 23.6 percent for the year,putting it on track for its best yearly performance since 2003,boosted in large part by the Fed's stimulus measures.

* S&P 500 futures rose 8.8 points and were above fairvalue, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into accountinterest rates, dividends and time to expiration on thecontract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 67points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 12.25 points.

* Tesla Motors Inc shares slumped 11.1 percent to$157.15 before the opening bell after the electric car makerforecast a weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter profit and postedthird-quarter Model S deliveries that disappointed someanalysts.

* Microsoft Corp edged up 0.6 percent to $36.85 inpremarket trading after sources familiar with the matter saidthe world's largest software maker had narrowed its list ofexternal candidates to replace Chief Executive Steve Ballmer toabout five people, including Ford Motor Co chief AlanMulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.

* As earnings season moves into its tail end, S&P companiesexpected to report earnings on Wednesday include Qualcomm Inc and Whole Foods Market Inc.

* According to Thomson Reuters data, of 404 companies in theS&P 500 that reported results through Tuesday morning, 69.6percent beat Wall Street's expectations, above the long-termaverage of 63 percent. However, just 53.3 percent beat revenueforecasts, below the 61 percent average since 2002.

* European shares rose, erasing the previous session'slosses, on better-than-expected results.

* Most Asian markets were little changed amid uncertaintyover monetary policy in the United States and Europe, thoughJapanese stocks rose, thanks to gains in major car makers.

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