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Market: Stocks set for higher open as focus shifts to earnings

US futures are pointing to a higher open today after ending higher on Monday, as investors shifted their focus from geopolitical concerns to the fresh wave of corporate earnings. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump plans to nominate Richard Clarida as Federal Reserve Vice Chairman, and Michelle Bowman as a member of the Fed’s Board of Governors.

The S&P futures rose 0.62% to 2,698.25, Dow futures advanced 0.88% to 24,780, and Nasdaq gained 0.67% to 6,756.75. Elsewhere, shares at Asian markets closed mixed on Tuesday, while European stocks are trading higher.

On the European economic front, data from Istat showed that Italy’s foreign trade surplus grew to EUR 3.1 billion in February from EUR 1.9 billion last year. Another Istat data revealed that Italy’s consumer price inflation accelerated to 0.8% in March from 0.5% in February. ZEW data showed that Germany’s economic confidence fell to -8.2 in April from +5.1 in March, and current conditions index declined by 2.8 points to 87.9 in April.

The Office for National Statistics data revealed that jobless rate in the UK fell to 4.2% in the February-ended quarter from 4.3% in the January-ended quarter. The Turkish Statistical Institute data showed that Turkey’s retail sales rose 8% on year in February after increasing 10.8% in January. The Croatian Bureau of Statistics revealed that Croatia’s consumer price inflation accelerated to 1.1% in March from 0.8% in February.

On the Asian economic front, data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand showed that New Zealand’s house prices increased 1.8% on year to NZ$560,000 in March. The International Enterprise Singapore data revealed that Singapore’s non-oil domestic exports tumbled 2.7% on year in March after falling 6% in February. The National Bureau of Statistics data showed that China’s gross domestic product expanded 1.4% sequentially in the first quarter of 2018 after rising 1.6% last quarter.

U.S. stock market snapshot
U.S. stock market snapshot

On April 16, US ended higher, with Dow up 0.87% to 24,573.04. Nasdaq gained 0.70% to 7,156.28, and the S&P 500 advanced 0.81% to 2,677.84. Traders reacted positively to earnings news from Bank of America (BAC), which posted better-than-expected first quarter earnings backed by strong loan growth. A Commerce Department report showed that retail sales increased 0.6% in March after falling 0.1% in February.

Meanwhile, key economic events scheduled for today include Commerce and Housing and Urban Development Department’s housing starts, Redbook data, and Federal Reserve’s industrial production. San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman for Supervision Governor Randal Quarles, Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank President Patrick Harker, and Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans will be giving speeches today.

On the earnings front, key companies reporting earnings today include ChinaNet Online Holdings (CNET), Omnicom Group (OMC), Orient Paper (ONP), United Continental Holdings (UAL), Adtran (ADTN), Northern Trust (NTRS), ProLogis (PLD), Intuitive Surgical (ISRG), CSX Corp. (CSX), and Comerica (CMA).

Netflix (NFLX) stock soared 7.32% in the premarket after issuing a strong second-quarter forecast.

On the corporate front, UnitedHealth Group (UNH) stock rose 2.31% in the premarket after it lifted its earnings guidance for 2018. Goldman Sachs Group (GS) stock inched up 1.02% in the premarket after better-than-expected first-quarter earnings. Twitter (TWTR) stock moved up 2.31% in the premarket after brokerage firm Morgan Stanley upgraded the shares to “equal-weight” from “underweight”. Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) moved up 0.56% before the opening bell after lifting sales forecast for 2018 and better-than-expected first-quarter results. Netflix (NFLX) stock soared 7.32% in the premarket after issuing a strong second-quarter forecast.

Crude oil futures are up 0.05% to $66.25. Gold is trading down 0.38% to $1,345.60, and silver is down 0.22% to $16.64. On the currency front, the US dollar is trading down 0.01% at 107.109 yen. Against the euro, the dollar is down 0.21% to $1.2355. Against the pound, the dollar is down 0.13% to $1.4319.

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