Microsoft Earnings Generate Early Buying Interest
By Investors Hub
The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a pointing to a higher opening on Thursday, with stocks likely to add to the modest gains posted in the previous session.
Early buying interest may be generated in reaction to upbeat earnings news from Microsoft (MSFT), with the software giant moving notably higher in pre-market trading.
After the close of trading on Wednesday, Microsoft reported quarterly results that exceeded analyst estimates, boosted by cloud and Office revenues.
Big-name companies like Comcast (CMCSA), Dow (DOW) and Southwest Airlines (LUV) are also seeing pre-market strength after reporting their quarterly results.
Following the pullback seen late in Tuesday?s session, stocks showed a lack of direction over the course of the trading day on Wednesday. The major averages spent the day bouncing back and forth across the unchanged line.
The major averages moved to the upside going into the close, ending the day modestly higher. The Dow edged up 45.85 points or 0.2 percent to 26,833.95, the Nasdaq rose 15.50 points or 0.2 percent to 8,119.79 and the S&P 500 climbed 8.53 points or 0.3 percent to 3,004.52.
The choppy trading on Wall Street came as traders digested the latest batch of earnings news from big-name companies like Boeing (BA) and Caterpillar (CAT).
Boeing and Caterpillar both reported weaker than expected third quarter earnings, with Caterpillar also cutting its full-year outlook due to weak demand for construction and mining equipment.
Disappointing guidance from Texas Instruments (TXN) weighed on tech stocks, as the chipmaker cited the impact of ongoing uncertainty about trade.
Overall trading activity was somewhat subdued, however, with a lack of major U.S. economic data keeping some traders on the sidelines.
Traders may have been looking ahead to the release of reports on durable goods orders, new home sales, and weekly jobless claims on Thursday.
A lack of major developments on the Brexit and U.S.-China trade deal fronts also kept traders reluctant to make more significant moves.
Meanwhile, Ford (F), Microsoft (MSFT), and Tesla (TSLA) are among the companies due to report their quarterly results after the close of trading.
Most of the major sectors ended the day showing only modest moves, contributing to the lackluster close by the broader markets.
Energy stocks saw significant strength, however, with the sector benefiting from a sharp increase by the price of crude oil following the release of a report showing an unexpected weekly drop in crude oil inventories.
Reflecting the strength in the energy sector, the NYSE Arca Natural Gas Index and the Philadelphia Oil Service Index climbed by 1.9 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.
On the other hand, semiconductor stocks came under pressure on the disappointing guidance from Texas Instruments, dragging the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index down by 1.9 percent.