Here are the top news, trends, and analysis that investors need to get their trading day started:
1. Stocks are expected to rise after strong big tech gains
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Wall Street is expected to open higher Thursday, with Nasdaq futures particularly strong after robust gains from Apple and Facebook pushed these stocks up significantly in the pre-market. Three Dow stocks – McDonald’s, Merck, and Caterpillar – posted gains before the bell. The government will release its first quarterly gross domestic product and weekly unemployment claims lookup Thursday morning.
These economic data points come a day after the Federal Reserve held the line for interest rates near zero and asset purchases. Central bankers also reassured the markets that despite a consolidating economy and rising inflation, monetary policy would remain stable for some time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all fell on Wednesday. With two days left in April, all three stock benchmarks were solidly in the green for the month.
New York City will be back to full capacity starting July 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday. “Our plan is to fully reopen on July 1st. We are ready for stores to open, stores, offices, theaters, and full strength openings,” said de Blasio on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. The city had administered more than 6 million doses of Covid vaccines by Wednesday, with approximately 36% of the city’s adult population being fully vaccinated.
2. The economy starts strong in 2021 as unemployment claims have been lowest since March 2020
The government reported Thursday that the US economy, as measured by GDP, grew at a strong 6.4% annual rate in the first quarter, albeit slightly below estimates. Aside from the reopening spike in the third quarter of last year, this was the best period for GDP since the third quarter of 2003. Initial jobless claims were 553,000, more than expected but a new low by the week ending March 14, 2020 For the week ending April 17, the new claims have been revised by 19,000 to 566,000.
3. Three Dow stocks reported mixed quarterly results
People wear protective face masks outside McDonald’s in Times Square as the city resumes Phase 4 reopening after restrictions were imposed in New York City on September 18, 2020 to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Noam Galai | Getty Images
McDonald’s was 11 cents ahead of consensus with adjusted quarterly earnings of $ 1.92 per share. Revenue was also above forecast, boosted by a better-than-expected increase in U.S. revenue in the same business by 13.6%. Shares fell slightly in the pre-market.
The Merck logo can be seen on a gate to the Merck & Co campus in Rahway, New Jersey, USA on July 12, 2018.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
A pandemic-related decrease in doctor visits was one of the main reasons for Merck’s profit decline in the first quarter. Merck missed 23 cents with adjusted quarterly earnings of $ 1.40 per share. The shares were quoted at 1.8% before the IPO.
Caterpillar Inc. excavators will go on sale Monday, January 27, 2020 at the Whayne Supply Co. dealer in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Caterpillar is expected to release earnings numbers on January 31st.
Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Caterpillar stock rose 1.6% in premarket trading after the heavy equipment maker beat estimates by nearly a dollar of adjusted quarterly earnings of $ 2.87 per share. Sales were also ahead of forecast as an economic recovery fueled demand for equipment.
4. Apple, Facebook shares rise after strong gains
Tech profits continue to roll as Amazon and Twitter top the bell list Thursday, a day after Apple and Facebook topped quarterly earnings and sales expectations. Apple also said it would increase its dividend by 7% while approving $ 90 billion in share buybacks. Facebook attributed its strong revenue growth to a 30% increase in the average price per ad and a 12% increase in the number of ads displayed. On the pre-market, Facebook shares rose 7% and Apple shares rose 3%.
5. Bidens Says America’s Democracy Is “Rising Again”
President Joe Biden speaks prior to a joint congressional session in the U.S. Capitol Chamber in Washington, United States, on April 28, 2021.
Melina Mara | Reuters
President Joe Biden brings his political agenda to Georgia on Thursday, his 100th day in office. In his first address to a joint congressional session on Wednesday evening, Biden declared that “America is rising again” and unveiled a $ 1.8 trillion proposal to invest in children, families and education. This is also the already announced massive expenditure proposal to update the national infrastructure. Biden stressed that these efforts will create more jobs and increase the wealth of all Americans.
– CNBC’s Peter Schacknow, as well as Reuters and The Associated Press, contributed to this report. Follow all market action like a pro on CNBC Pro. With CNBC’s coronavirus coverage, you’ll get the latest information on the pandemic.