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Top Stories for April 24, 2012

Strength in Europe is leading U.S. stock futures higher this morning ahead of a slew of numbers due out at 10:00 am:

 Release

Expectations 

 New Home Sales  318k
 Consumer Confidence  69.7
 FHFA House Price Index  .1%
 Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index

New Home Sales may be the big number here as the downward trend looks like it may be flattening and with rates remaining low going into the spring, investors will be looking for signs of momentum changing to the upside:

Today also begins a two-day FOMC meeting that will result in a policy announcement tomorrow at 12:30 pm. Expectations are for no change in the Fed Funds rate but it will be interesting to see the voting breakdown as rising CPI has far outpaced interest rates for several quarters now.

After the bell today comes the much-anticipated earnings release from Apple (AAPL). Capital IQ consensus estimates are EPS of $10.07 on revenue of $36,757.35bn.

In other news today:

Facebook's Growth Slows as IPO Nears

3M Profit Beats Estimates on U.S. Auto-Supply Demand

New Wireless Subscribers Down Sharply at AT&T

Netflix Counting On U.S. Growth as Overseas Eats Profits