Rising tide could lift stocks
Positive earnings reports from P&G and Time Warner could lead a turnaround at the open, although high oil prices may limit gains.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Strong news on the earnings front, including reports from Procter & Gamble and Time Warner, could boost stocks Wednesday, ending a two-day losing streak.

At 7:45 a.m. ET, Nasdaq and S&P futures were higher, indicating a positive start for the major indexes.


Stocks fell Monday and Tuesday as worries about oil prices and how much longer the Federal Reserve will keep raising rates gripped investors.

"If we can focus on the positive earnings results the market will get a lift today," said. Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Jefferies & Co. But, "crude prices are above $75 - that doesn't bode well," he warned.

Oil prices rose, with U.S. light crude up 74 cents to $75.65 a barrel in electronic trading and Brent crude traded in London up 49 cents to $76.38 ahead of the Energy Information Administration's weekly inventory report at 10:30 a.m. ET.

In earnings news, CNNMoney.com parent Time Warner (Charts) reported second-quarter earnings that slightly exceeded expectations, and also confirmed plans to revamp the strategy for its struggling AOL Internet division. (Full story.)

Dow component Procter & Gamble (Charts) also posted a stronger-than-expected fourth quarter profit, thanks to strong sales of Tide laundry detergent.

Health insurer Cigna (Charts) reported a better-than-expected second-quarter profit and the raised its full-year forecast.

Shares of Electronic Arts (Charts) jumped in pre-market trade after the maker of "Madden" and other video games posted a smaller-than-expected loss and said revenue in the current quarter should top analyst estimates.

Adobe Systems (Charts) stock was also up before the bell after the software maker said Tuesday it expects to meet its third-quarter financial target.

In other news, Google (Charts) struck a deal with XM Satellite Radio Holdings (Charts) to allow the search engine's advertisers to automatically insert ads on the radio company's non-music channels.

And, private equity firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Silver Lake Partners have won the bidding for Philips Electronics (Charts)' semiconductor division at about $10.3 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Treasury prices gained, lowering the yield on the 10-year note to 4.96 percent from 4.97 percent late Tuesday. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions.

The dollar gained strength against the euro and the yen.

Most Asian markets ended slightly higher, while European shares were up in midday trading.

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