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U.S. Futures Largely Unchanged; Microsoft Leads Earnings Deluge

imageStock Markets50 minutes ago (Apr 27, 2021 07:01AM ET)

(C) Reuters.

By Peter Nurse

Investing.com – U.S. stocks are seen opening largely unchanged Tuesday, as the first-quarter earnings season kicks into top gear and the latest two-day Federal Reserve meeting starts.

At 7:05 AM ET (1205 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up just 2 points, S&P 500 Futures traded 1 point higher, and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 6 points, or 0.1%.

The S&P 500 closed at another record high on Monday, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite climbed 0.9% to hit its first fresh record close since Feb. 12, heading for its best month since November.

These indices have been helped by a strong start to the earnings season, as over 80% of the companies in the S&P 500 which have reported numbers have beaten mainstream consensus forecasts, analysts having once again taken company guidance at face value.

The tech sector will be in focus Tuesday, after Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) reported record net income of $438 million for its first quarter after the close Monday. However, the electric carmaker’s stock has dropped over 2% premarket after relying entirely on the sale of bitcoin and regulatory credits to generate its profits.

The big name due to present results Tuesday is Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), which has been flying high on soaring sales of laptops and cloud services. That trend is expected to continue when the software giant reports after the close.

Other companies reporting Tuesday include General Electric (NYSE:GE), United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS), Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY), Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) and Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD), while GameStop (NYSE:GME) will also be in focus after the video game retailer raised $551 million through an equity offering to speed up the company’s e-commerce transformation.

Aside from earnings, the Federal Reserve holds its latest two-day policy-setting meeting this week, starting later Tuesday. The central bank is not expected to change its ultra-easy monetary policies, but investors will be listening out for any comments regarding inflation.

The key economic release this week is on Thursday, with the preliminary reading of first quarter U.S. gross domestic product, but April consumer confidence comes out at 10:00 AM ET (1400 GMT) and is expected to rise as the economy reopens.

Oil prices gained Tuesday, as OPEC and its allies led by Russia, a grouping known as OPEC+, met to discuss production policy.

OPEC+ kept its forecast for global oil demand growth for this year unchanged on Monday, projecting it to rise by 6 million barrels per day in 2021, but did express concerns about new coronavirus spikes in India and Japan, major importers of crude.

Also of interest will be the release of U.S. crude oil supply data from the American Petroleum Institute, due later in the day.

U.S. crude futures traded 0.8% higher at $62.38 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.7% to $65.50.

Elsewhere, gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,779.60/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.2081.

U.S. Futures Largely Unchanged; Microsoft Leads Earnings Deluge

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