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

wallstreetmarch0220 05may21 lt

After ending the previous session mostly lower, stocks may move back to the upside in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures up by 16.75 points.

Technology stocks may lead the way higher after coming under pressure on Tuesday, as the Nasdaq 100 futures are showing an even stronger advance.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq showed a steep drop in the previous session, tumbling to its lowest closing level in a month after reaching a record intraday high last Thursday.

A positive reaction to better than expected earnings from companies like Activision Blizzard (ATVI) and Lyft (LYFT) may contribute to the early upward move.

Shares of General Motors (GM) may also see initial strength after the auto giant reported first quarter earnings that came in well above analyst estimates.

A number other well-known companies have also reported better than expected quarterly results, extending the upbeat trend seen throughout the current earnings season.

On the U.S. economic front, payroll processor ADP released a report showing private sector job growth accelerated in the month of April but still came in below economist estimates.

ADP said private sector employment spiked by 742,000 jobs in April after surging by an upwardly revised 565,000 jobs in March.

However, economists had expected private sector employment to soar by 800,000 jobs compared to the jump of 517,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Not long after the start of trading, the Institute for Supply Management is scheduled to release its report on activity in the service sector in the month of April.

The ISM's services PMI is expected to inch up to 64.3 in April from 63.7 in March, with a reading above 50 indicating growth in the sector.

Stocks moved mostly lower during trading on Tuesday, with the Nasdaq showing a particularly steep drop amid weakness among technology stocks. The narrower Dow managed to buck the downtrend, however, as the blue chip index inched higher over the course of the session.

After plunging by nearly 350 points in morning trading, the Dow ended the day up 19.80 points or 0.1 percent at 34,133.03. Meanwhile, the Nasdaq tumbled 261.62 points or 1.9 percent to 13,633.50 and the S&P 500 slid 28.00 points or 0.7 percent to 4,164.66.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in a mixed performance on Wednesday, with several major markets closed for holidays. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell by 0.5 percent, while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 Index rose by 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all shown strong moves to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index has surged up by 1.6 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index is up by 1.3 percent and the French CAC 40 Index is up by 1 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.80 to $66.50 a barrel after jumping $1.20 to $65.69 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,776.10, up $0.10 compared to the previous session's close of $1,776. On Tuesday, gold slumped $15.80.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 109.36 yen compared to the 109.33 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.1995 compared to yesterday's $1.2014.

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