U.S. Stocks Likely To See Initial Strength On Upbeat Earnings, Economic News

After ending yesterday’s trading little changed, stocks are likely to move to the upside in early trading on Thursday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the S&P 500 futures up by 0.8 percent.

Early buying interest is likely to be generated in reaction to upbeat earnings news, with Facebook parent Meta Platforms (META) poised to lead an early rally by the tech-heavy Nasdaq.

Shares of Meta are surging by 9.7 percent in pre-market trading after the company better than expected second quarter results and provided upbeat guidance.

Fast food giant McDonald’s (MCD) is also likely to see initial strength after reporting second quarter results that beat analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

Shares of Comcast (CMCSA) are also seeing significant pre-market strength after the cable and entertainment giant reported better than expected second quarter results.

The futures remained firmly positive following the release of a batch of upbeat U.S. economic data, including a Commerce Department showing an unexpected acceleration in the pace of economic growth in the second quarter.

The report said real gross domestic product surged by 2.4 percent in the second quarter after jumping by 2.0 percent in the first quarter. Economists had expected the pace of GDP growth to slow to 1.8 percent.

The Commerce Department said the unexpected acceleration in GDP primarily reflected an upturn in private inventory investment and an acceleration in nonresidential fixed investment.

The positive contributions were partly offset by a downturn in exports and decelerations in consumer spending, federal government spending, and state and local government spending.

The Labor Department also released a report unexpectedly showing a modest decrease in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended July 22nd.

The report said initial jobless claims slipped to 221,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 228,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 235,000.

A separate report released by the Commerce Department showed new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods soared by much more than expected in the month of June.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders shot up by 4.7 percent in June after surging by an upwardly revised 2.0 percent in May.

Economists had expected durable goods orders to increase by 1.0 percent compared to the 1.8 percent jump that had been reported for the previous month.

Excluding a spike in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders rose by 0.6 percent in June after climbing by 0.7 percent in May. Ex-transportation orders were expected to come in unchanged.

Not long after the start of trading, the National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release its report on pending home sales in the month of June. Pending home sales are expected decrease by 0.5 percent in June after tumbling by 2.7 percent in May.

Stocks saw typical volatility following the Federal Reserve’s highly anticipated monetary policy announcement on Wednesday. The major averages showed wild swings before ending the day narrowly mixed.

While the Dow rose 82.05 points or 0.2 percent to 35,520.12, extending its winning streak to 13 sessions, the S&P 500 edged down 0.71 points or less than a tenth of a percent to 4,566.75 and the Nasdaq slipped 17.27 points or 0.1 percent at 14,127.28.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Thursday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index climbed by 0.7 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index jumped by 1.4 percent.

The major European markets have also moved to the upside on the day. While the French CAC 40 Index has surged by 1.8 percent, the German DAX Index is up by 1.1 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index is up by 0.2 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are jumping $0.99 to $79.77 a barrel after sliding $0.85 to $78.78 a barrel on Wednesday. Meanwhile, after rising $6.40 to $1,970.10 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are edging down $1 to $1,969.10 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 140.47 yen versus the 140.24 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Wednesday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1075 compared to yesterday’s $1.1086.

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