MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock Markets Set To Extend Records On Wall Street, Led By Facebook

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Twitter shares tumble 9% after user-growth disappointment

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U.S. stocks on Thursday looked set to add to all-time highs, propelled by enthusiasm for technology shares, as Facebook Inc., delivered upbeat results late Wednesday.

Shares of Twitter Inc., however, tumbled in premarket trade after the microblogging platform reported lackluster user growth, as corporate unfurled during one the busier periods of earnings season.

Futures indicated U.S. stock markets are likely to hold at the record levels reached in the prior session. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures rose 23 points, or 0.1%, to 21,678, while S&P 500 futures gained 4.45 points, or 0.2%, to 2,477.75. Nasdaq-100 futures jumped 31.50 points, or 0.5%, to 5,979.50.

All three U.S. benchmarks closed at record highs Wednesday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-steady-as-market-waits-for-fed-decision-earnings-rush-2017-07-26), supported by upbeat corporate results. The DJIA jumped 0.5% to end at 21,711.01, the S&P 500 added just 0.7 point to 2,477.83, and the Nasdaq Composite put on 0.2% to 6,422.75.

Facebook's strong showing was likely behind the tech gains building Thursday, said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda, in emailed comments.

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"Tech stocks are having to live up to lofty expectations, given the gains they've experienced this year--particularly in the bigger names--and the levels of growth we're seeing are doing just that," he said.

Read:Next stop for Facebook shares? $200, say analysts applauding results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/next-stop-for-facebook-shares-200-say-analysts-applauding-results-2017-07-27)

Erlam believes investors are looking for something to fill the gap left by U.S. President Donald Trump's inability to deliver on tax-cut and spending promises.

"As it stands, earnings season isn't disappointing, which is why we haven't seen the correction in stocks that we've seen elsewhere this year," he said.

Sean Darby, chief global equity strategist at Jefferies and a team said they would lift their S&P 500 target to 2,500 from 2,325, saying as long as nominal gross domestic product is "running higher than U.S. Treasury yields, investors should own the U.S."

Earnings ahead: Twitter (TWTR) fell 9% in premarket trading after posting results, which showed flat user growth. Those losses more than reversed gains seen ahead of the earnings. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/twitter-earnings-analysts-fear-that-last-quarters-user-increase-wont-be-repeated-2017-07-26)

A number of companies have already reported. Among them, Comcast Corp.(CMCSA) posted profit and revenue that beat analysts expectations (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/comcast-profit-revenue-beat-analysts-expectations-2017-07-27), and shares rose 2% in premarket, while Verizon Communications Inc.(VZ) gained 1.6% after results. Procter & Gamble Co.(PG), United Parcel Service Inc.(UPS) and MasterCard Inc.(MA), are still to come.

After market close, Amazon.com Inc.(AMZN) is expected to report its quarterly results (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-earnings-with-a-dominant-position-in-the-us-analysts-look-abroad-2017-07-25).

Expedia Inc. (EXPE) Intel Corp.(INTC), Starbucks Corp.(SBUX) and Mattel Inc.(MAT) will also report late.

Stocks to watch: Shares in Facebook(FB) were up 4.2% in premarket trading after the company beat quarterly earnings expectations (http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2017/07/26/facebook-earnings-put-instagram-in-focus-amid-shift-in-newsfeed-ads-live-blog/). The social-networking giant could be nearing a $500 billion market cap (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/facebook-heads-toward-500-billion-market-cap-after-earnings-2017-07-26) if shares rise as strongly during regular trading Thursday.

Read:Facebook keeps warning about growth, but growth doesn't stop (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/facebook-keeps-warning-about-growth-but-growth-doesnt-stop-2017-07-26)

PayPal Holdings Inc.(PYPL) shares added 2.8% after the mobile payment group topped earnings views and raised guidance (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/paypal-shares-up-2-after-company-tops-views-raises-guidance-2017-07-26).

Overseas companies with U.S.-listed shares were also active. AstraZeneca PLC(AZN.LN) (AZN.LN) sank 16% in premarket, matching a London move, after the drug heavyweight reported a negative result in a Phase 3 clinical trial of its lung-cancer treatment Mystic (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/astrazenecas-mystic-cancer-drug-trial-fails-2017-07-27). (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/astrazenecas-mystic-cancer-drug-trial-fails-2017-07-27) Shares of rival Bristol-Meyer Squibb Co.(BMY) fell 6% in premarket after its results.

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV(ABI.BT) (ABI.BT) moved 5.3% higher after the brewing giant posted a surge in quarterly profit (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ab-inbev-profit-up-despite-drop-in-us-market-share-2017-07-27).

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ab-inbev-profit-up-despite-drop-in-us-market-share-2017-07-27)And the world's largest liquor maker Diageo PLC(DEO) soared 7.5% in premarket trading after lifting its target for profit margin growth (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/diageo-full-year-earnings-lifted-by-currency-boost-2017-07-27).

Economic data: The latest update on weekly jobless claims is scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. On the docket for the same time are June readings on advance trade in goods, durable goods orders and the Chicago Fed national activity index.

Data on housing vacancies for the second quarter are due at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Other markets: European stocks traded mixed (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/european-stocks-search-for-direction-in-busy-session-for-earnings-2017-07-27) as investors absorbed a heavy stream of earnings, while in Asia , equity markets were broadly positive (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asia-stocks-broadly-positive-nikkei-lifted-by-nintendo-2017-07-27).

Gold prices were trading higher, up $13, or 1%, to $1,262.30 an ounce, with precious and base metals rising across the board.

The ICE Dollar Index continued to push lower, last trading at 93.59, from 94.05 late Wednesday. The dollar weakened on Wednesday, after some analysts viewed the Federal Reserve as striking a dovish tone in its policy statement (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/fed-to-wind-down-bond-holdings-relatively-soon-2017-07-26).

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 27, 2017 07:53 ET (11:53 GMT)