© Reuters. A trader walks in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York City
By Shivani Kumaresan
(Reuters) – Wall Street major indices were expected to open higher on Thursday after excellent earnings from Apple and Facebook rallied technology stocks as investors analyzed a flurry of quarterly reports and the latest economic data.
Apple Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 rose 2.4% in premarket trading after sales and earnings were released ahead of Wall Street estimates, led by significantly stronger-than-expected iPhone and Mac sales.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ 🙂 rose 7.9% as analysts’ expectations for quarterly sales and earnings were exceeded. This was helped by an increase in digital advertising spending during the pandemic, as well as higher ad prices.
Other megacap companies including Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ :), Alphabet (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc, and Netflix Inc (NASDAQ 🙂 rose between 0.2% and 1.1%.
“We expected tech earnings to be strong, and they conveniently set the bar high, which is extremely impressive. But it’s also another sign of how fast this economy is continuing to recover,” said Ryan Detrick , Chief Marketing Strategist at LPL Financial (NASDAQ :).
“We will continue to closely monitor any other Fed discussion or inflation data. Because many companies are talking about increased price pressure and this could lead to higher prices for consumers.”
Data showed that U.S. economic growth accelerated in the first quarter, driven by massive state aid to households and businesses, while a labor market report found 553,000 people applied for state unemployment benefits in the week ending April 24, compared to 566,000 in the Previous period.
Further results reports from Dow Components have been received, with Caterpillar Inc (NYSE 🙂 rose 1.2% after the heavy equipment maker reported an increase in adjusted earnings for the first quarter. However, drug maker Merck & Co Inc was down 1.8% as it posted a 1.2% decline in quarterly earnings.
Global stocks extended their gains after the Federal Reserve said it was too early to consider withdrawing emergency aid to the economy and U.S. President Joe Biden proposed a $ 1.8 trillion stimulus package .
At the end of the Fed’s final political meeting on Wednesday, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged economic growth but said there was not enough evidence of “substantial further progress” on the recovery path to change policy justify.
At 8:27 a.m. CET, the values rose by 147 points or 0.44%, by 29.5 points or 0.71% and by 142.25 points or 1.02%.
Electric vehicle companies including Tesla (NASDAQ 🙂 Inc, Nikola Corp., rose 0.8% and 2.3%, respectively, as sales picked up in the first quarter, according to the International Energy Agency.
Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ :), Twitter Inc. (NYSE 🙂 and Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ 🙂 are also expected to post earnings for the first quarter later in the day.