* JPMorgan rises in premarket after results
* Norfolk Southern gives weak outlook, shares fall
* Nokia in talks to buy Alcatel-Lucent
* Futures: Dow down 3 pts, S&P down 2 pts, Nasdaq up 1.5 pt (Updates with Wells results, retail sales data)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, April 14 (Reuters) – S&P Futures pointed to a flat open on Tuesday as investors digested the first major earnings of the first-quarter reporting season, which showed some weakness despite companies topping lowered expectations.
JPMorgan Chase & Co posted stronger-than-expected earnings growth, helped by a rebound in fixed-income trading. Revenue rose 5 percent. The stock rose 1 percent to $ 62.67 before the bell. Wells Fargo & Co dipped 0.8 percent to $ 54.15 despite also reporting first-quarter earnings that topped expectations.
Johnson & Johnson adjusted earnings topped expectations, but the consumer products giant also cut tits full-year forecast, citing the impact of a strong dollar. The stock – which, along with JPMorgan, is a Dow component – rose 0.4 percent to $ 100.99.
First-quarter profits for S&P 500 companies are seen falling 2.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data. On Jan. 1, analysts were looking for growth of 5.3 percent. The drop in expectations could mean that companies can more easily top a lowered bar, but the trend of the season remains unclear with fewer than 10 percent of the S&P having reported. This week will see a number of major companies report, including Intel Corp after the market closes on Tuesday.
Late Monday, Norfolk Southern Corp forecast a surprise drop in its first-quarter earnings and revenue, sending shares down 5.5 percent to $ 99.10 in premarket.
Nokia Oyj is in talks to buy Alcatel-Lucent SA , a deal that would combine the telecommunications industry’s two weakest players but could pose challenges in cutting costs and overcoming political opposition.
U.S. shares of Nokia fell 3.6 percent to $ 8.00 in heavy premarket trading while Alcatel rose 6.9 percent to $ 4.65.
In the latest data, U.S. retail sales posted their largest gain in a year since March, though the rise was slightly less than had been anticipated. Separately, U.S. producer prices rose in March after four straight months of declines.
Futures snapshot at 8:56:
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 2 points, or 0.1 percent, with 162,217 contracts changing hands.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 1.5 points, or 0.03 percent, in volume of 24,619 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were down 3 points, or 0.02 percent, with 28,777 contracts changing hands.
(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Nick Zieminski)
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