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U.S. Stocks May Open Higher On Upbeat Earnings News

wallstreet sept17 18oct19 lt

Stocks may move to the upside in early trading on Friday, adding to the modest gains posted in the previous session. The major index futures are currently pointing to a slightly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 24 points.

A positive reaction to the latest batch of earnings news may contribute to initial strength on Wall Street, with Coca-Cola (KO) moving notably higher in pre-market trading after reporting better than expected third quarter results and raised its full-year guidance.

Shares of American Express (AXP) may also move to the upside after the credit card giant reported third quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Early buying interest may remain subdued, however, with disappointing Chinese economic data offsetting the positive sentiment.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed China's economy grew at the slowest rate in nearly three decades in the third quarter, raising pressure on policymakers to roll out more stimulus.

China's GDP grew 6 percent year-on-year in the third quarter after rising 6.2 percent in the second quarter. This was the slowest growth since the early 1990s. Growth was forecast to slow marginally to 6.1 percent.

Lingering uncertainty about a possible U.S.-China trade deal may also weigh on the markets along with doubts about the Brexit deal getting through parliament.

Shortly after the start of trading, the Conference Board is due to release its report on leading economic indicators in the month of September. The leading economic index is expected to rise by 0.2 percent in September after coming in unchanged in August.

Stocks fluctuated over the course of the trading session on Thursday but eventually ending the day modestly higher. The major averages all closed in positive territory, although buying interest was somewhat subdued.

The Dow bounced back and forth across the unchanged line before closing up 23.90 points or 0.1 percent to 27,025.88. The Nasdaq climbed 32.67 points or 0.4 percent to 8,156.85 and the S&P 500 rose 8.26 points or 0.3 percent to 2,997.95.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly lower on Friday, although Japan's Nikkei 225 Index bucked the downtrend and edged up by 0.2 percent. China's Shanghai Composite Index slumped by 1.3 percent and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.5 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets are turning in a lackluster performance on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has fallen by 0.4 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index are nearly unchanged.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are rising $0.50 to $54.43 a barrel after climbing $0.57 to $53.93 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after rising $4.30 to $1,498.30 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are slipping $4 to 1,494.30 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 108.54 yen versus the 108.66 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1148 compared to yesterday's $1.1125.

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