American Airlines, Travelers, Qualcomm among stocks to watch
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U.S. stocks looked set to keep a grip on record highs Thursday, with investors looking for earnings from Microsoft Corp. later in the day to help cement a strong run for technology stocks.
Results from companies like American Airlines Group Inc. and a European Central Bank monetary policy meeting are highlights ahead of the market open.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 17 points to 21,613, while S&P 500 index futures added 1.85 points to 2,473.25. Nasdaq-100 index (NQ) futures edged up 0.75 point to 5,919.25.
All three major indexes snared new closing records on Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tech-stocks-on-track-to-set-another-record-even-as-sp-futures-struggle-2017-07-19), buoyed by earnings optimism after better-than-expected Morgan Stanley (MS) results. The DJIA ended up 0.3% at 21,640.75, the S&P 500 gained 0.5% to 2,473.83, and the Nasdaq-100 rose 0.6% to 6,385.04, for its 40th record close this year.
At the same time, the S&P 500's Information Technology sector closed 0.56% higher at 992.29. That broke a record set on March 27, 2000, at the height of the dot-com bubble, when it closed at 988.49.
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Read: BAML's Hartnett sees global snub for U.S. stocks as more fuel for upside (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bamls-hartnett-sees-global-snub-of-us-stocks-as-more-fuel-for-upside-2017-07-19)
Those U.S. stock records inspired gains across the globe on Thursday, as Asian and European equities pushed higher on a day of key central bank meetings. Earlier, the Bank of Japan lifted hopes for more monetary stimulus (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/bank-of-japan-leaves-monetary-policy-alone-pushes-back-inflation-goals-2017-07-19) as it pushed back its inflation target, while the European Central Bank's own monetary policy meeting will be closely watched for signs it may ease up on its bond-buying program.
Read:Why Mario Draghi can't back down from ECB taper hints (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-mario-draghi-cant-back-down-from-ecb-taper-hints-2017-07-19)
The ECB meeting may not have much impact on U.S. stocks, though, said Craig Erlam, Oanda's senior market analyst, in emailed comments. He said the central bank is likely to lay the foundation for another small cut to its bond-buying program in September.
"U.S. investors are also more focused on earnings season at the moment and what the Fed is doing," said Erlam.
Early readings on U.S. earnings have been largely upbeat, though Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) disappointed this week, and investors are looking to results to keep driving gains.
U.S. economic data on tap for Thursday includes weekly jobless claims and the Philadelphia Fed index for July, both due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Leading economic indicators for June are expected at 10 a.m. Eastern.
Stocks in focus: Among those on the earnings docket ahead of the market open are Travelers Inc.(TRV) , Philip Morris International Inc.(PM) and American Airlines Group Inc.(AAL) .
Microsoft Corp.(MSFT) , Visa Inc.(V) , eBay Inc.(EBAY) and Capitol One Financial Corp.(COF) are among those companies reporting after the close.
Check out:Preview of Microsoft earnings (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/microsoft-earnings-massive-changes-are-ahead-2017-07-19)
Qualcomm Inc.(QCOM) shares were down around 3% in premarket trading, after the chip maker's quarterly earnings met forecasts late Wednesday, but its forecast made no mention of sales related to Apple Inc. (AAPL) products.
Read:Qualcomm's issues go beyond Apple fight (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/qualcomms-issues-go-beyond-apple-fight-2017-07-19)
(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/qualcomms-issues-go-beyond-apple-fight-2017-07-19) (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ptc-shares-fall-after-hours-on-weak-outlook-2017-07-19)Other markets: Stocks rose in Asia (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-post-gains-awaiting-central-bank-decisions-2017-07-19) after the Bank of Japan pushed back on its inflation target, which fueled some hopes for more monetary stimulus. The Stoxx Europe 600 index rose 0.3% ahead of that ECB meeting.
The dollar traded mostly flat (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/euro-holds-steady-at-115-as-all-eyes-turn-to-ecb-meeting-2017-07-20) across the board, though slightly higher against the yen .
Oil prices (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-ease-ahead-of-data-that-may-show-rising-us-inventories-2017-07-19) were flat, while gold prices slipped $4.90 to $1,237.10 an ounce.
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 20, 2017 06:18 ET (10:18 GMT)