US stock futures flat on earnings, housing reports

NEW YORK (AP) ? U.S. stock futures were flat Wednesday as investors weighed mixed corporate earnings results against a surprisingly jump in the construction of new homes in September.

A rare earnings miss from Apple Inc. pulled technology stocks broadly lower. Apple lost 5.3 percent in premarket trading after it failed to hit Wall Street’s expectations when it reported its results late Tuesday.

Forty-five minutes before the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 11 points, or 0.1 percent, to 11,537. S&P 500 futures lost less than a point to 1,222. Nasdaq 100 futures slid 13, or 0.6 percent, to 2,350.

The pace of new home construction reached a seasonally adjusted rate of 658,000 homes last month, the Commerce Department reported. That was a 15 percent jump from August and well above the 590,000 homes that economists had predicted. It still well below the 1.2 million pace that economists consider healthy.

Stock futures had been down by as much as 0.6 percent before the report was released.

Inflation outside of the volatile areas of food and gas remained tame last month, the Labor Department said. So-called core prices, which exclude food and gas, rose 0.1 percent last month. That was the smallest increase since March. Overall, prices rose 0.3 percent in September.

Investors will also be looking toward the Federal Reserve’s snapshot of business conditions around the nation, which will be released at 2 p.m. Eastern.

In corporate news, Abbott Laboratories jumped 7 percent in premarket trading after the company said that it plans to split into two. It plans to spin its drug business off into a separate company. The new company hasn’t been named.

Intel Corp. rose 3.6 percent in premarket trading after the company beat Wall Street’s estimates in last quarter. The company also announced that it would boost its stock buyback program by $10 billion.

American Express Co. and eBay Inc. are also among the companies reporting third quarter results later Wednesday.