Forex Pros – U.S. stock futures pointed to a broadly higher open on Wednesday, as a flurry of better-than-expected corporate earnings reports boosted appetite for riskier assets, while shares in chip giant Intel soared ahead of the open.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed a gain of 1.2%, the S&P 500 futures climbed 1.4%, while Nasdaq 100 futures indicated an increase of 1.3%.
Shares in the world’s largest chipmaker Intel surged 6.4% in premarket trade after it reported a 29% increase in first quarter net income to USD3.16 billion. Revenue rose 25% to USD12.8 billion, blowing past expectations for revenue of USD11.6 billion.
“The first-quarter revenue was an all-time record for Intel fuelled by double digit annual revenue growth in every major product segment and across all geographies,” said Paul Otellini, Intel president and CEO.
The upbeat results boosted other chipmakers, with Advanced Micro Devices climbing 2.6% and U.S. listed shares of Europe’s largest semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics rallying 6.5%.
The second largest U.S. wireless carrier AT&T saw shares climb 2.1% after reporting first quarter profit rose to USD3.41 billion, up 39% from a year earlier. Revenue increased 2.3% to USD31.25 billion, highlighted by robust mobile broadband growth and record high smartphone sales.
Yahoo saw shares jump 4% after it said first quarter revenue rose more-than-expected, as the web portal’s display advertising business boosted results.
Metals producer Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold advanced 3.8% after gold prices breached the psychologically important USD1,500 level for the first time. The company was also due to release earnings results later in the day.
Meanwhile, shares in consumer electronics giant Apple rose 1.5% as investors positioned themselves in the stock ahead of the company’s first quarter earnings report due out after markets close today.
Other stocks in focus included Yum Brands, the owner of fast-food chains Taco Bell and KFC, as well as American Express and hotel operator Marriot International, which were all expected to release earnings later in the day.
In total, 33 S&P 500 companies are scheduled to release results today.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets posted sharp gains as shares in the technology sector led markets higher. The EURO STOXX 50 jumped 2.3%, France’s CAC 40 rose 2.4%, Germany’s DAX surged 2.8%, while Britain’s FTSE 100 rallied 2.25%.
During the Asian trading session, Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index closed 1.75% higher as Japanese exporters led gains boosted by the outlook for export earnings.Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish industry data on existing home sales, as well as a government report on crude oil stockpiles.
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