With recent economic data indicating a sluggish pace of economic
growth globally and crude prices hovering near five-month highs,
earnings have become a swing factor for stocks.
The S&P 500 has staged a sharp recovery from a steep selloff earlier
this year and is inching toward its all-time high, helped by a
recent rebound in oil, a cautious Federal Reserve and companies
beating tempered expectations.
The index is up half a percent for the week, having posted gains on
the first three days.
"We're back to the every other day theory, bouncing around a little,
but I don't see too strong a sentiment either way," said Scott
Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.
"It's still a very cautious environment," Brown said, adding that
the negative tone from the quarterly reports were expected.
At 8:28 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 1 points, or 0.01 percent, with
30,704 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.75
points, or 0.04 percent, with 211,857 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100
e-minis were down 7.5 points, or 0.17 percent, on 29,412 contracts.
McDonald's rose 1.6 percent to $127.75 premarket after the company's
profit beat estimates.
S&P 500 companies are seen posting a 7.2 percent fall in
first-quarter profit, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, and
shares of companies failing to beat the already lowered expectations
are getting hammered.
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Caterpillar shares were down 2.5 percent at $76.70 after its
Heavyweights Alphabet and Microsoft were down 4.7-5.1 percent after
both missed profit and revenue estimates.
Starbucks slipped 3.5 percent after missing sales
expectations, while Visa was down 3.5 percent after it cut its
full-year revenue forecast.
General Electric was off 0.4 percent at $30.87 after it reported a
dip in organic revenue.
(Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Don
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