U.S. Stock Futures Maintain Gains After Durable Goods, GDP Data

U.S. stock futures maintained gains as reports showed durable goods orders slid more than forecast and the economy grew less than previously estimated in the second quarter, while jobless claims decreased last week. Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in December rose 0.4 percent to 1,432.00 at 8:31 a.m. in New York after climbing as much as 0.6 percent.

Total orders for durable goods, those meant to last at least three years, plunged 13 percent, the most since January 2009, paced by a decline in demand for civilian aircraft. Orders for non-defense capital equipment excluding airplanes rose 1.1 percent after decreases of 5.2 percent in July and 2.7 percent in June, the Commerce Department reported today in Washington.

Second-quarter gross domestic product increased 1.3 percent, compared with a previous estimate of 1.7 percent. Jobless claims fell by 26,000 to 359,000 last week.

The S&P 500 has retreated for five straight days, trimming this quarter’s advance to 5.2 percent. The index has erased all its gains since the Federal Reserve announced Sept. 13 that it will undertake a third round of quantitative easing. The Fed said it will purchase mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month until labor markets “improve substantially.”

Futures increased earlier amid speculation China may announce new stimulus measures.

A report today showed China’s industrial profits fell for a fifth month, increasing speculation the government will do more to support economic growth. Net income dropped 6.2 percent from a year earlier to 381.2 billion yuan ($60.4 billion), the National Bureau of Statistics said. China may further cut banks’ reserve requirements or interest rates if external demand worsens, Chen Yulu, an academic adviser to the People’s Bank of China, told reporters in Beijing.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at mregan12@bloomberg.net

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