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Stocks May Move Back To The Upside In Early Trading - U.S. Commentary

Wallstreet 013013 27Apr17

After ending the previous session modestly lower, stocks may move back to the upside in early trading on Thursday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 37 points.

The markets may benefit from a positive reaction to the latest batch of earnings news, as a number of well-known companies have reported better than expected quarterly results.

Shares of Comcast (CMCSA) are moving higher in pre-market trading after the telecom giant reported first quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates.

Auto giant Ford (F) may also see early strength after reporting better than expected first quarter results on both the top and bottom lines.

Shares of Bristol-Myers (BMY) are also moving to the upside in pre-market trading after the drug giant reported first quarter results that topped expectations.

On the other hand, Southwest Airlines (LUV) may come under pressure after reporting first quarter earnings and revenues that came in below analyst estimates.

Biotechnology company Amgen (AMGN) reported first quarter earnings that exceeded expectations but on weaker than expected revenues.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing an unexpected increase in initial jobless claims in the week ended April 22nd.

The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 257,000, an increase of 14,000 from the previous week's revised level of 243,000.

The increase surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 241,000 from the 244,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A separate report released by the Commerce Department showed that new orders for manufactured durable goods climbed by less than expected in the month of March.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders rose by 0.7 percent in March after jumping by a revised 2.3 percent in February.

Economists had expected orders to surge up by 1.2 percent compared to the 1.8 percent increase that had been reported for the previous month.

Excluding a jump in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders edged down by 0.2 percent in March after climbing by 0.7 percent in February.

Shortly after the start of trading, the National Association of Realtors is due to release its report on pending home sales in the month of March. Economists expect pending home sales to drop by 1.0 percent in March after spiking by 5.5 percent in February.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

Stocks finished Wednesday's trading modestly lower after seeing strength for much of the trading session. The major averages pulled back going into the close, ending the session just below the unchanged line.

The Dow dipped 21.03 points or 0.1 percent to 20,975.09, the Nasdaq edged down 0.27 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 6,025.23 and the S&P 500 slipped 1.16 points or 0.1 percent to 2,387.45.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher on Thursday. China's Shanghai Composite Index rose by 0.4 percent, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed by 0.5 percent. However, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index bucked the uptrend and fell by 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have moved to the downside on the day. While the German DAX Index is down by 0.1 percent, the French CAC 40 Index is down by 0.3 percent and the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is down by 0.5 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are sliding $0.82 to $48.80 a barrel after inching up $0.06 to $49.62 a barrel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,264.50, up $0.30 from the previous session's close of $1,264.20. On Wednesday, gold fell $3.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 111.40 yen compared to the 111.06 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.0918 compared to yesterday's $1.0904.

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