Wall Street is expected to open sharply higher after dovish comments from the US Federal Reserve and bumper profits from tech heavyweights Apple Inc (NASDAQ:APPL) and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB).
Apple reported record second-quarter revenues of $89.58bn compared to expectations of around $77bn and a rise of more than 50%, with net income of $23.6bn.
Meanwhile, Facebook’s first-quarter revenue rose 48% to $26.2bn, around $3bn more than forecast, while net income rose 94% to $9.5bn.
In pre-market trading, Apple is up 2.7% while Facebook has jumped 7%.
So the Dow Jones Industrial Average is expected to open up 177 points or 0.48% while the S&P 500 is heading for another record, up 0.71%. The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite is of course outperforming both, set to open more than 1% higher to another peak.
Sophie Griffiths at Oanda said: “US futures are pointing to a stronger start, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq set to outperform. Blowout results from Apple and Facebook after the close yesterday mean that both stocks are in line for a sharp gap higher on the open.”
If investors can tear themselves away from tech, there is the small matter of the latest US economic growth figures. First-quarter GDP is expected to grow at an annualised rate of 6.5% to 6.8% compared to 4.3% in the final three months of last year.
There are also the weekly jobless claims, out at the same time, which are forecast to be steady at 545,000.
Michael Hewson at CMC Markets said: “If recent data is any guide [the GDP figure] should be a very solid number, though this first iteration may not be as good as markets might look at pricing in. This is because a lot of the March data may well not be up to date. This may mean it is susceptible to upward revisions in the coming weeks.
“Irrespective of whether the number is at the lower or upper end of expectations the US economy looks set to start 2021 very much on the front foot.”
Four things to watch for on Thursday:
- Firms in the earnings diary today include payments group MasterCard Inc (NYSE:MA), telecoms conglomerate Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and pharma firm Merck & Co Inc (NYSE:MRK)
- Fast-food giant McDonald’s Corp (NYSE:MCD) will be of interest after it reported sales in its first quarter that surpassed pre-pandemic levels
- Also in focus will be the owner of the William Morris talent agency Endeavor Group, which is due to go public on Thursday after pricing its initial public offering (IPO) shares at US$24 each, the top end of its projected price range
- On the macro front, aside from GDP and jobless figures, investors may cast an eye over US pending home sales data as well as a number of speeches from various Fed representatives
Story by ProactiveInvestors
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