* Apple posts largest corporate profit in history
* Yahoo unveils plan to spin off Alibaba stake
* Futures up: Dow 13 pts, S&P 6 pts, Nasdaq 43 pts (Updates prices, adds comment)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, Jan 28 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were set to rise at the open on Wednesday, boosted by earnings including from Apple and Boeing, while focus could shift later in the day to the Federal Reserve’s first two-day policy meeting of the year.
The Fed is expected to signal it remains on track to begin raising interest rates later this year, as it shows confidence that low inflation and rising risks from abroad have yet to derail the U.S. economic recovery.
Nasdaq futures rallied more than 1 percent, powered by an 8.1 percent advance in Apple shares. Apple’s quarterly results smashed Wall Street expectations with record sales of big-screen iPhones in the holiday shopping season, which helped the company post the largest profit in corporate history.
Boeing added 3.2 percent premarket after handily beating top- and bottom-line expectations.
The expected gains in major equity indexes come a day after a sharp selloff on Wall Street, triggered by downbeat earnings by Microsoft and Caterpillar.
“We’ve had fairly significant earnings numbers, substantial misses and substantial wins that justify strong market movements,” said Peter Jankovskis, co-chief investment officer at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.
Regarding the Fed, Jankovskis said he doesn’t expect any change in policy, “but it’s all about how they talk about markets and how markets affect their decisions.”
S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 6 points and fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract, indicated a higher open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures rose 13 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures added 43 points.
Yahoo gained 4.5 percent after it unveiled plans to spin off its 15 percent stake in Alibaba Group Holding, responding to pressure to hand over to shareholders its e-commerce investment valued at roughly $ 40 billion.
U.S. Steel Corp’s shares added 8.4 percent the day after its profit beat expectations. Though the company warned that low oil prices and the strong U.S. dollar could negatively impact its business in 2015, it said the potential for higher consumer spending could help lift demand.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski)
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