Friday October 27th


US stock futures rise after big tech earnings crush the Street

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open Friday after the release of stronger-than-expected earnings from large-cap tech companies. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 6 points, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 3.75 points and 42.50 points, respectively. Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet and Intel all reported earnings that topped Wall Street estimates Thursday after the close. Shares of Amazon rose 8.2 percent in the premarket, while Microsoft, Alphabet and Intel rose 6.8 percent, 4.3 percent and 4.5 percent, respectively. On the final trading day of the week, corporate earnings continued to pour in, with several key brands releasing their latest financial reports. AbbVie, Chevron, Colgate-Palmolive, ExxonMobil, Merck, Phillips 66 and TransUnion were among the companies that reported ahead of the opening bell. On the data front, the first reading on third-quarter GDP showed the U.S. economy grew by 3 percent, above an estimate of 2.5 percent. Elsewhere, consumer sentiment data is expected to be released around 10 a.m. ET. In central banking news, the European Central Bank announced Thursday that it plans on cutting the level of the bonds that it purchases each month. However, it will extend the monetary stimulus program until at least September 2018. Meantime, a few House Republicans sent a letter to President Donald Trump, calling upon him not to reappoint Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve when her term expires in early 2018. In politics, the House narrowly voted to approve a Senate version of next year's federal budget Thursday, making it easier for the Senate to push through tax cuts in the future. Looking to energy, oil prices were under slight pressure in early trade, with U.S. crude trading around $52.39 at 6:52 a.m. ET, while Brent hovered around $58.93 per barrel. Overseas, European stocks were posting gains during its morning trade, while markets in Asia finished mostly higher. Friday morning saw the Nikkei 225 tack on 1.24 percent, or 268.67 points, to close at a fresh 21-year high of 22,008.45. Across the Korean Strait, the Kospi rose 0.64 percent to finish the session at 2,496.63. The Hang Seng Index rose 0.6 percent by 3:00 p.m. HK/SIN as investors digested quarterly earnings reports from top Chinese companies. Mainland markets were mixed, even though the blue-chip CSI-300 index rose 0.71 percent to its highest levels since 2015. The Shanghai Composite closed up 0.26 percent at 3,416.4192 and the Shenzhen Composite shed 0.337 percent to finish the session at 2,023.4996. Gold prices touched their lowest point in nearly three weeks on Friday as the euro slipped against the dollar following the European Central Bank's extension of its bond-buying program. Currency investors played a diverging monetary policy outlook, with the U.S. expected to raise interest rates again before the end of 2017 while Europe is not now expected to do so in the coming years. Spot gold touched a low of $1,264.15 per ounce, its worst since Oct. 6, and although it was last 0.006 percent higher at $1,267.48, it was still heading for its second weekly decline. U.S. gold futures for December delivery gave up 0.12 percent to $1,268.10.