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Futures up sharply on good earnings news; Bold predictions for growth in 2014

Hot Stock Minute

Stock futures were indicating a higher open after strong earnings reports from Delta (DAL), Verizon (VZ) Travelers (TRV) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) before the opening bell. About 70 S&P 500 companies and eight Dow components are set to report this week and that is likely to dominate investors' attention with only one major economic indicator expected this week: Existing Home Sales on Thursday. The question is how the latest corporate results will affect the outlook for future growth. Overall, economists are predicting 2014 will be the strongest year in nine years with 3% growth.

New reports this morning that China's Lenovo is in talks to buy IBM's (IBM) server business, reviving talks that broke down last year over Lenovo's valuation of the business. Lenovo bought IBM's PC business in 2005 and last year overtook Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) as the world's biggest PC maker. IBM will be a stock to watch today, with earnings expected after the bell. IBM is expected to post profits of $5.99 per share, which would be up from last year's $5.39, though revenue is expected to fall 3.6%.

Also after the bell, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) is expected to report earnings of $0.06 cents a share which would be up $0.20 from last year. Revenue is expected to grow 33.4%. And Texas Instruments (TXN) is expected to post profits of $0.46 a share, which would be up $0.10 from last year, and revenue is expected to grow 0. 3%.