July 27, 2018 / 1:23 PM / 4 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street to open higher on Amazon lift, robust GDP data

* GDP grew at highest rate in 4 years

* Amazon set for record high; lifts FAANGs

* Twitter plunges after results

* Futures: Dow down 0.02 pct, S&P up 0.01 pct, Nasdaq up 0.3 pct (Adds comment, adds details, updates prices)

By Amy Caren Daniel

July 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open slightly higher on Friday as Amazon’s robust earnings buoyed the FAANG group of high-flying stocks and data showed that the U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in nearly four years.

Gross domestic product increased at a 4.1 percent annualized rate as consumers boosted spending and farmers rushed shipments of soybeans to China to beat retaliatory trade tariffs before they took effect in early July.

“At the end of the day, it really is about what is truly going on in the market and what is truly going on is earnings,” said J.J. Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade in Chicago.

“There just seems to be a lot of evidence the economy is really humming right along. The only part of the economy that seems to be struggling is wages. But everything else, it is really hard to argue with.”

Shares of Amazon.com jumped 4.1 percent in premarket trading, set to hit a record high and reclaim the $900 billion market value, after forecasting strong sales and posting a profit that was double analysts’ estimates.

Other so-called FAANG members also rose. Netflix gained 0.6 percent, while Alphabet’s shares were 0.5 percent higher.

Facebook, which lost more than $120 billion in market value and sent the Nasdaq tumbling 1 percent on Thursday after a weak forecast, was up 0.7 percent.

Twitter sank 12.5 percent after reporting fewer-than-expected monthly active users and warned that the closely-watched figure could keep falling as it deletes phony accounts.

At 9:03 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 4 points, or 0.02 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.25 points, or 0.01 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 22 points, or 0.3 percent.

Exxon Mobil dropped 4.5 percent after reporting lower-than-expected quarterly profit, while Chevron fell 1.6 percent after results.

Intel fell 5.8 percent after its fast-growing data center business missed estimates and it delayed the release of its next-generation chips until the end of 2019.

Advanced Micro Devices, which is expected to have eaten into Intel’s market share, was up 4.4 percent.

Merck rose 0.3 percent after its quarterly profit topped analysts’ estimates as sales of its blockbuster cancer drug nearly doubled and the company raised full-year profit outlook.

Earnings of S&P 500 companies are now expected to rise 22.4 percent in the second quarter, compared with an estimate of 20.7 percent as of July 1, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Chesapeake Energy jumped 13.9 percent after it planned to sell all of its Ohio natural gas acreage to privately owned Encino Acquisition Partners for about $2 billion.

Electronic Arts fell 3.2 percent after the game publisher forecast tepid second-quarter revenue growth. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Charles Mikolajczak in New York; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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