7-16-14 5:47 AM EDT | Email Article

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch , Al Lewis

MADRID (MarketWatch) -- Momentum was set to continue for Wall Street at Wednesday's open, as stock futures logged gains ahead of earnings from Bank of America Corp. and more testimony from Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen.

There are several items on the economic calendar, including a home-builders' index and the Fed's Beige book.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJU4) rose 53 points, or 0.3%, to 17,041, while those for the S&P 500 index (SPU4) gained 4.9 points, or 0.3%, to 1,972.90. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index (NDU4) added 13.75 points, or 0.4%, to 3,926.25.

Ahead of the open, Bank of America (BAC) is expected to report falling profits and sales in the second quarter, with the bank seen earning 27 cents a share on revenue of $21.65 billion. But better-than-expected results from the banking sector has been the trend, with Citigroup Inc. (C) contributing to an upbeat performance for Wall Street on Tuesday.

Online-auction provider EBay Inc.(EBAY) reports after the close of markets.

Intel Corp.(INTC) shares could continue to gain after the technology maker reported market-pleasing results late Tuesday, while disappointment over Yahoo Inc.'s(YHOO) results could fester.

Meanwhile, shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL) and IBM Corp. (IBM) could build on late-session gains after the two technology companies said they are teaming up to create business apps and sell iPhones and iPads to Big Blue's corporate customers.

The economic calendar will offer up producer prices for June at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with the index seen rising 0.3% after a 0.2% fall the prior month. A home-builders' index will be released at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen enters her second day of testimony to Congress on the economy. That kicks off at around 10 a.m. Eastern Time. On Tuesday, Yellen said interest rates could rise sooner rather than later if employment gains continue, though markets seemed more fixated on earnings.

Dallas Fed President Richard Fisher, who is a voting member of the Fed's policy committee this year, will give a speech on monetary policy at University of Southern California at noon Eastern Time. Also, the Fed will release its Beige Book report on economic conditions at 2 p.m. Eastern.

The Dow industrials (DJI) logged an intraday high on Tuesday, but took a small step back in the afternoon. The index closed up 111.61 points, or 0.7%, to 17,055.42.

No matter how volatile the session, the winning streak appears unrelenting for stocks, said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Ava Trade, in emailed comments. "Traders are determined to push the markets higher to get another record high in the U.S., and ... similar momentum is set to continue today," he said.

Across other markets, Asian stocks closed mixed, but with most major indexes sticking to slim moves. China's economic growth rate hit 7.5% in the April-June quarter, data showed Wednesday. That beat expectations, and triggered discussion about whether the government will offer up more stimulus.

European stocks got a boost from that Chinese data, which lifted resource stocks. It also lifted oil prices, with crude for August delivery (CLQ4) trading at $100.77 a barrel. Gold for August delivery (GCQ4) was mostly flat, and the dollar (DXY) pushed higher on interest-rate-timing comments by Yellen.

More must-reads from MarketWatch:

Decoding Yellen: Sooner rate hike means March at the earliest

Our Market Society has made a deal with the devil

Think twice before you invest in a bear-market fund

-Barbara Kollmeyer; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com


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07-16-14 0547ET

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