1. US Stocks Futures higher on optimism around earnings

US Stocks Futures higher on optimism around earnings

U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday, with the earnings season getting off to a strong start and oil prices rebounding after steep losses a day earlier.

By: | Published: April 20, 2017 5:09 PM
Dow e-minis were up 41 points, or 0.2 percent, with 22,778 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.5 points, or 0.28 percent, with 106,568 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 17.5 points, or 0.32 percent, on volume of 19,232 contracts.

U.S. stock index futures were higher on Thursday, with the earnings season getting off to a strong start and oil prices rebounding after steep losses a day earlier. However, mounting tensions between North Korea and the United States and the looming French presidential elections are keeping investors away from making risky bets.

With Wall Street near record levels and worries over President Donald Trump’s ability to carry out his pro-growth promises, investors are hoping first-quarter earnings will be strong enough to justify pricey market valuations.

Of the 57 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings through Wednesday morning, 75.4 percent have topped expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data, above the 71 percent average for the past four quarters.

Overall, profits of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 10.8 percent in the quarter, the best since 2011.Key companies scheduled to report results on Thursday include Dow component Visa, whose shares were up 1.4 percent at $90.99 in premarket trading, and toymaker Mattel.

Key companies scheduled to report results on Thursday include Dow component Visa, whose shares were up 1.4 percent at $90.99 in premarket trading, and toymaker Mattel.A closely watched poll showed Centrist Emmanuel Macron hung on to his lead as favorite to win France’s presidential election in a four-way race that is too close to call.

A closely watched poll showed Centrist Emmanuel Macron hung on to his lead as favorite to win France’s presidential election in a four-way race that is too close to call.Economic data due on Thursday includes weekly jobless claims, which are expected to rise to 242,000 from 234,000. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).

Economic data due on Thursday includes weekly jobless claims, which are expected to rise to 242,000 from 234,000. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).

Oil prices regained some ground, after steep losses in the previous session, as leading oil producers signaled a likely extension of OPEC-led supply cuts beyond the middle of the year. Still, bloated inventories continue to weigh.

Qualcomm rose 2.6 percent to $54 after the largest maker of chips used in smartphones reported quarterly revenue and profit that beat analysts’ estimates.

EBay fell 1.9 percent to $33.22 after the company forecast second-quarter profit that fell short of analysts’ estimates.

Futures snapshot at 6:19 a.m. ET: Dow e-minis were up 41 points, or 0.2 percent, with 22,778 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.5 points, or 0.28 percent, with 106,568 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 17.5 points, or 0.32 percent, on volume of 19,232 contracts.

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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