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Market: Stocks to open higher ahead of blue-chip earnings

US futures are pointing to a higher open today after ending lower on Monday, ahead of the earnings report from six blue-chip companies. Companies that have already topped the Street’s expectations include Eli Lilly (LLY), United Technologies (UTX), Verizon Communications (VZ), Caterpillar (CAT), and Coca-Cola (KO).

The S&P futures gained 0.60% to 2,687.25, Dow futures advanced 0.63% to 24,567, and Nasdaq rose 0.53% to 6,702.25. Elsewhere, shares at Asian markets closed mostly higher on Tuesday and European stocks are trading higher.

On the European economic front, data from the Statistics Sweden showed that Sweden’s jobless rate grew to 6.5% in March from 6.3% in February. Istat data revealed that Italy’s consumer confidence fell to 117.1 in April from 117.5 in March. The Office for National Statistics data showed that the UK budget deficit tumbled by GBP 0.8 billion to GBP 1.3 billion in March.

Ifo Institute data revealed that Germany’s business sentiment index slid to 102.1 in April from 103.3 in March. Insee data showed that France’s manufacturing sentiment index fell to 109 in April from 110 in March. Statistics Denmark data revealed that Denmark’s retail sales rose 0.4% on month in March after falling 0.1% in February.

On the Asian economic front, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that consumer prices in Australia rose 0.4% on quarter in the first quarter of 2018 after rising 0.6% last quarter. ANZ bank and Roy Morgan Research data revealed that Australia’s consumer confidence rose to 118.4 in the week ended April 22 from 116 last week. Statistics New Zealand data showed that New Zealand’s net migration fell to 67,984 in March from 71,932 last year.

The Bank of Japan data revealed that producer prices in Japan rose 0.5% on year in March after increasing 0.7% in February. The Chain Store Association data showed that Japan’s supermarket sales, after store adjustment, inched down 0.1% on year in March, while sales rose 0.8% before adjustment. The Cabinet Office data revealed that Japan’s future economic activity rose to 106.0 in February from 105.9 in January, and the current economic activity increased to 116.1 in February from 114.8 last month.

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

On April 23, US ended lower, with Dow down 0.058% to 24,448.69 and Nasdaq down 0.25% to 7,128.60. Meanwhile the S&P 500 rose 0.0056% to 2,670.29. Traders remained cautious as they expect increasing inflation to lead the Federal Reserve to lift interest rates. A National Association of Realtors report showed that existing home sales rose by 1.1% to 5.60 million in March after increasing 3% in February.

Meanwhile, key economic events scheduled for today include the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s house price index, new home sales from the Commerce Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Redbook data, S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price income, and the Conference Board’s consumer confidence.

Key companies reporting earnings today include Harley-Davidson (HOG), Amgen (AMGN), Wynn Resorts (WYNN), Robert Half International (RHI), Lockheed Martin (LMT), Cree (CREE), Dolby Laboratories (DLB), Supervalu (SVU), JetBlue Airways (JBLU), Edwards Lifesciences (EW), Illumina (ILMN), 3M (MMM), Huntington Bancshares (HBAN), Biogen (BIIB), The Chubb (CB), PulteGroup (PHM), Capital One Financial (COF), Weatherford International (WFT), Texas Instruments (TXN), and Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB).

On the corporate front, United Technologies stock rose 2.46% in the premarket after lifting of the full-year forecast, and upbeat first-quarter earnings. Coca-Cola also inched up 1.52% in the premarket following the earnings announcement. Caterpillar increased 3.84% in the premarket after first-quarter earnings and sales exceeded street expectations.

Verizon stock climbed 3.47% in premarket after better-than-expected first-quarter results. Eli Lilly stock moved up 1.62% before the opening bell after it raised earnings outlook for fiscal 2018. SAP SE (SAP) stock increased 3.89% in the premarket after lifting guidance for fiscal 2018.

Crude oil futures are up 0.34% to $68.87. Gold is trading up 0.28% to $1,327.70, and silver is up 0.26% to $16.63. On the currency front, the US dollar is trading up 0.13% at 108.852 yen. Against the euro, the dollar up 0.04% to $1.2213. Against the pound, the dollar is up 0.16% to $1.3958.

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