S&P Futures roared to new record highs above 4,200 and Nasdaq futures jumped 1% on Thursday as Powell’s dovish assurances and blow-out earnings from Apple and Facebook powered a rally in tech stocks and cemented conviction the world’s largest economy is resurgent ahead of GDP numbers and jobless claims data which are expected to show further improvements. At 7:30 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 130 points, or 0.38%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 28.00 points, or 0.67%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 144 points, or 1.03%.
- Apple gained 2.7% in premarket trading after posting sales and profits ahead of Wall Street estimates, led by much stronger-than-expected iPhone and Mac sales.
- Facebook jumped 7.3% on beating analysts’ expectations for both quarterly revenue and profit, helped by a surge in digital ad spending during the pandemic, along with higher ad prices coupled with a 10% growth in active users.
- Other megacap companies, including Microsoft Corp, Alphabet Inc and Netflix Inc, rose between 0.2% and 1.1%.
- EV companies, including Tesla and Nikola rose 1.1% and 2.6%, respectively, as sales picked up speed in the first quarter, according to the International Energy Agency.
- Caterpillar rose 2.8% after the heavy equipment maker reported a rise in adjusted first-quarter profit.
- Merck slid 3.2% on posting a 1.2% fall in quarterly profit.
With almost half of the S&P 500 companies having reported results so far, about 88% have either met or beaten expectations.