MARKET SNAPSHOT: U.S. Stocks Stare Down Subdued Open, Even As Amazon, Alphabet Get Set To Leap

By Sara Sjolin and Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

First-quarter GDP data on deck before the bell

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Wall Street was set for a slightly higher open Friday, as investors braced for more earnings and a possible government shutdown, a day after Nasdaq closed at a fresh record high.

A first reading on U.S. economic growth in the first quarter could also drive trading action later in the day.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 15 points, or 0.1%, to 20,913, while those for the S&P 500 index gained 1.90 points to 2,388. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index added 2.75 points or 0.1% to 5,595.50.

The Nasdaq Composite Index on Thursday logged a record close (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-in-holding-pattern-ahead-of-earnings-deluge-2017-04-27), ahead of after-hours earnings releases from tech heavyweights Microsoft Corp.(MSFT), Amazon.com Inc.(AMZN) and Alphabet Inc.(GOOGL) (GOOGL). For the week, the index was set for a 2.3% climb as of Thursday's close.

Alphabet shares rallied 4.3% in premarket trading Friday after the Google parent posted earnings that beat expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/google-parent-alphabet-beats-first-quarter-earnings-expectations-2017-04-27). Amazon shares gained 3.8%, also after topping profit forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-shares-jump-5-following-strong-earnings-report-2017-04-27), while Microsoft shares were up 0.4% in the early going even after a revenue miss (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/microsoft-shares-down-more-than-2-after-revenue-miss-2017-04-27).

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The Alphabet and Amazon "numbers underline the fact that U.S. corporate results have been good this quarter and suggest that the rally since the Trump election is well underpinned," said Mihir Kapadia, CEO at Sun Global Investments, in a note.

The S&P 500 index and Dow average both nudged higher at the close on Thursday, setting them on track for a weekly gains of 1.7% and 2.1%, respectively.

As the month of April comes to a close, all three major indexes are set for their best monthly performance since February. The Nasdaq is poised to gain 2.3%, the Dow industrials, 1.5% and the S&P 500, 1.1%.

Earnings season: Friday was shaping up as another busy day. Ahead of the bell, Colgate-Palmolive Co. (CL) reported revenue below forecasts, sending shares down 1.5%.

VF Corp. (VFC) slipped 0.6% premarket after the Wrangler and North Face parent missed profit expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/wrangler-and-north-face-parent-vf-corp-misses-profit-and-sales-expectations-2017-04-28).

Oil heavyweights Exxon Mobil Corp.(XOM) and Chevron Corp.(CVX) were slated to report Friday morning, along with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.(GT).

Preview:Exxon, Chevron earnings--growth plans under the microscope (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/exxon-chevron-earnings-growth-plans-under-the-microscope-2017-04-26)

Stock movers: Shares of Qualcomm Inc.(QCOM) were 4% lower in premarket trade after the chip maker issued a profit warning, citing a longstanding patent-dispute with Apple Inc., which it says is withholding payments (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/qualcomm-issues-profit-warning-blames-apple-2017-04-28) on sales in the quarter ended in March.

Shares of Western Digital Corp.(WDC) surged 8.5% before the bell after the computer-data storage company late Thursday reported revenue and profit that topped forecasts.

Intel Corp.(INTC) slid 4% premarket, even after it reported a 45% jump in quarterly earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/intel-shares-fall-but-pc-sales-help-earnings-rise-2017-04-27) late Thursday. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/intel-shares-fall-but-pc-sales-help-earnings-rise-2017-04-27)

Starbucks Corp.(SBUX) lost 4.7% in the early going after the coffee chain's revenue targets fell short of consensus forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/starbucks-shares-slip-as-revenue-falls-short-of-street-view-2017-04-27).

U.S.-listed shares of Barclays Bank PLC(BCS) (BCS) and Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC(RBS.LN) dropped 5% and rose 2.3% respectively in premarket trading, after the British lenders' earnings reports. At the same time, shares of UBS Group AG (UBS) jumped 3.9% after the Swiss banking giant reported earnings well ahead of forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ubs-beats-forecasts-as-income-growth-strong-2017-04-28).

Shares of GoPro Inc.(GPRO) climbed 1.2% before the bell. The action camera maker late Thursday reported better-than-expected first-quarter results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gopros-stock-jumps-after-results-outlook-beat-expectations-2017-04-27) and second-quarter outlook.

Shutdown threat: Another focus for investors is a potential government shutdown this weekend. Government funding expires at 12:01 a.m. Eastern on Saturday, though Congress is expected to pass a one-week spending bill to keep the government going a while longer. However, that move doesn't erase the possibility of the first shutdown since 2013.

"If there's a shutdown, there's a shutdown," President Donald Trump told Reuters in an interview on Thursday, adding that it was a wait-and-see situation.

Read:Here's what would happen during a government shutdown (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-what-would-happen-during-a-government-shutdown-2017-03-29)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres-what-would-happen-during-a-government-shutdown-2017-03-29)Geopolitical worries may also linger after Trump told Reuters in that same interview that a "major, major conflict" with North Korea is possible (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-threatens-south-korean-free-trade-deal-says-war-with-north-possible-2017-04-27). He said he may cancel or renegotiate a five-year-old free-trade agreement with South Korea, citing a large deficit with that country.

Economic data: A reading on gross domestic product for the first quarter is set for release at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. GDP is expected to rise 0.9% in the first quarter, according to economists polled by MarketWatch, following growth rates of 2.1% and 3.5% in the prior two quarters.

Check out:Here comes another first-quarter GDP downer (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/here-comes-another-first-quarter-gdp-downer-2017-04-27)

The employment cost index is also due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. Those reports are followed by the Chicago purchasing managers index for April at 9:45 a.m. Eastern, then consumer sentiment for April at 10 a.m. Eastern.

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"This is the first quarter under President Trump and traders will be looking to see if his impact on the economy has been as positive as his impact on the stock market," said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

At 1:15 p.m., Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard is slated to speak about "fintech and the future of finance" at Northwestern's business school, while the Philly Fed's Patrick Harker will talk in Washington, D.C., at 2:30 p.m. about "how STEM can get you anywhere."

Other markets: Crude oil prices rebounded on Friday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-climb-over-1-rebounding-from-latest-bout-of-selling-2017-04-28), up 1% after settling at their lowest level in about a month on Thursday.

Gold and other metals were higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gold-firms-ahead-of-gdp-report-but-on-track-for-more-than-1-weekly-drop-2017-04-28), while the dollar retreated against most other major currencies.

Asian stock markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-retreat-as-investors-show-caution-2017-04-27) closed mixed, while European equities were mostly lower (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-drop-for-second-day-ahead-of-top-tier-data-2017-04-28).

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 28, 2017 07:52 ET (11:52 GMT)