MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stock Market Set For Higher Open After Tech Earnings, GDP

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch Features Dow Jones Newswires

Exxon Mobil rises premarket after earnings report

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Nasdaq-100 futures pushed higher after four major technology companies--Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc. and Intel Corp.--posted blowout financial results, which looked set to inspire gains for broader U.S. stock markets on Friday.

Stock markets were also supported by data showing the U.S. economy expanded at a solid 3% annual pace (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/economy-grows-at-3-rate-in-third-quarter-despite-negative-impact-from-hurricanes-2017-10-27) for a second straight quarter despite damages from two hurricanes.

What are stock-index futures doing?

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 23 points, or 0.1%, to 22,370, while those for the S&P 500 index gained 5.65 points, or 0.2%, to 2,567.25. Meanwhile, Nasdaq-100 index futures advanced 52 points, or 0.9%, to 6,137.

U.S. stocks finished mostly higher on Thursday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stock-futures-steady-after-selloff-as-deluge-of-major-tech-earnings-await-2017-10-26) after a string of better-than-expected corporate results. The Dow average rose 0.3% to 23,400.86, and the S&P 500 added 0.1% to 2,560.40. The Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 0.1% to 6,556.77.

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The Nasdaq was weighed down by weakness in the biotechnology sector (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/biotech-etfs-tumble-with-celgenes-stock-headlining-weakness-2017-10-26), with the iShares Nasdaq Biotechnology ETF (IBB) sliding 2.3%.

The Nasdaq has had a bruising week so far. With one more session left to go, the index is down just over 1%, though Friday's session could make a difference if those four tech giants rally. The Dow industrials is looking at a 0.3% gain, while the S&P 500 is set to decline 0.6%.

What could drive the markets?

The pace of earnings releases slows somewhat Friday. Exxon Mobil Corp.(XOM) shares were up 1.4% in premarket action after reporting results ahead of the bell. Also in the lineup are Merck & Co.(MRK), Colgate-Palmolive Co.(CL), AbbVie Inc.(ABBV), and Chevron Corp.(CVX).

Tesla earnings:Model 3 production, demand under the microscope (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tesla-earnings-model-3-production-demand-under-the-microscope-again-2017-10-25)

See:Exxon earnings--chemicals, refining expected to show strong margins (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/exxon-earnings-chemicals-refining-expected-to-show-strong-margins-2017-10-24)

Late Thursday, four of the most valuable tech companies in the world--Amazon (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-revenue-hits-a-record-and-calms-investors-fears-2017-10-26)(AMZN), Google parent Alphabet (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-google-generated-a-few-extra-billion-dollars-2017-10-26)(GOOGL), Microsoft (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/microsoft-shares-gain-on-better-than-expected-fiscal-first-quarter-earnings-2017-10-26)(MSFT) and Intel (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/intel-raises-outlook-as-profit-gains-2017-10-26)(INTC)--blew past expectations for profit and revenue (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-google-microsoft-and-intel-find-billions-more-in-profit-2017-10-26) in their third-quarter reports.

Alphabet was up 4.7% in premarket, on track to open at a record high, with records ahead for Intel, up 4.7% and Microsoft, up 7%. Amazon was up 8.7%.

Read:Alphabet could be headed for a $700 billion market cap (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/alphabet-heads-for-700-billion-market-cap-after-earnings-2017-10-26) .

Plus:Amazon revenue hits a record and calms investors' fears (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-revenue-hits-a-record-and-calms-investors-fears-2017-10-26)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/amazon-revenue-hits-a-record-and-calms-investors-fears-2017-10-26)Elsewhere, the first estimate of third-quarter GDP is due later, the last major piece of economic data before the Federal Reserve's policy-setting meeting next week.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are expected to have weighed on growth, though economists polled by MarketWatch expect 2.4% growth, from 3.1% in the second quarter. The data is due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time.

What are analysts saying?

"The Dow Jones (+21 points), the S&P 500 (+3 points) and Nasdaq futures (+13.50 points) gained in Asia as latest earnings showed that cloud computing generated massive revenues for the U.S. tech stocks and the business has clearly more to grow," said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior market analyst at LCG, in a note to clients.

What are other markets doing?

The euro weakened after the European Central Bank decision to reduce and extend its monthly bond purchases.

Read:Draghi averts 'taper tantrum'-- for now--as ECB takes baby step toward end of QE (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/draghi-averts-taper-tantrumfor-nowas-ecb-begins-slow-walk-to-normalization-2017-10-26)

Plus:'Like stealing away from a party through the backyard'--analysts react to ECB move (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/like-stealing-away-from-a-party-through-the-backyardanalysts-react-to-ecb-move-2017-10-26)

The dollar was rising across the board (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-index-jumps-to-3-month-high-as-ecb-fueled-euro-slump-continues-2017-10-27) after the House of Representatives passed a budget resolution (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/house-narrowly-passes-budget-in-critical-step-for-republicans-tax-plan-2017-10-26) on Thursday, which was viewed as an encouraging sign for tax reform. The ICE Dollar Index was up 0.2% at 94.815.

And:Is the euro rally toast after ECB unveils dovish bond-buying cutback? (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/is-the-euro-rally-toast-after-ecb-unveils-dovish-bond-buying-reduction-2017-10-26)

Oil prices were mostly flat, trading at $52.59 a barrel, while gold was marginally softer at $1,267.90 an ounce. Other metals were lower.

Stocks in Asia mostly rallied (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asia-stocks-get-inspiration-from-us-earnings-reports-and-european-stimulus-news-2017-10-26), fueled by strong tech earnings out of the U.S. after the close. However, Australian stocks fell after judges ousted five lawmakers (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/five-australian-lawmakers-including-deputy-prime-minister-ousted-government-loses-majority-2017-10-27), including the country's deputy leader, over an obscure constitutional law.

What's on the data docket?

The GDP report will be followed by a reading on consumer sentiment for October at 10 a.m. Eastern.

There are no Federal Reserve members scheduled to speak, as the central bank is in its "blackout period" ahead of its policy-setting meeting next week.

See:MarketWatch's economic calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

Which stocks are in focus?

Macy's Inc. (M) fell 2.8% in premarket, with Kohl's Corp.(KSS) down 4.8% after fellow department store J.C. Penney Co. Inc.(JCP) issued a profit warning for the third quarter and full year. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/macys-and-kohls-shares-sink-after-jc-penney-profit-warning-2017-10-27)J.C. Penney shares plunged 26%.

Shares of Mattel Inc.(MAT) slid 21% in premarket trading, after a similar tumble late Thursday. The toy maker posted a surprise loss for the quarter, on a sharp decline in sales for its American Girl dolls.

Read:American Girl dolls are dying, and taking Mattel with them (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mattel-shares-plunge-as-not-even-american-girl-is-safe-from-sales-decline-2017-10-26)

Gilead Sciences Inc.(GILD) shares fell 4.2% in premarket after earnings fell by less than expected (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/gilead-revenue-falls-13-worst-yet-to-come-2017-10-26) late Thursday. But executives warned that the worst has yet to come for sales of its hepatitis C treatments.

Shares of Huntsman Corp.(HUN) rose 2% in premarket trading on the heels of the failure of its proposed merger (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/clariant-huntsman-call-halt-to-planned-merger-2017-10-27) with Swiss chemical company Clariant AG (CLN.EB) . Clariant shares fell 6% in European trading after both companies called the deal off on activist pressure.

Apple Inc.(AAPL) rose 0.8% in premarket, with social media abuzz as advance orders (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/tech-earnings-the-new-gadgets-that-will-matter-this-holiday-season-2017-10-20) for the iPhone X began early Friday. Estimates by two market-research firms said the iPhone 8 saw the weakest sales (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/apparent-weakness-in-iphone-8-sales-turns-up-pressure-on-apple-as-iphone-x-preorders-kick-off-friday-2017-10-26) of any of the company's smartphones in recent years. Apple will report fourth-quarter results on Nov. 2.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 27, 2017 08:56 ET (12:56 GMT)