By Amy Caren Daniel
April 17 () - U.S. stock index futures inched higher on Wednesday, buoyed by upbeat economic data from China, but gains were capped by disappointing quarterly reports from Netflix and IBM.
China's economy grew at a steady 6.4 percent pace in the first quarter, defying expectations for a further slowdown, as industrial production jumped sharply and consumer demand showed signs of improvement.
Intel Corp , Advanced Micro Devices and Nvidia Corp gained between 0.5% and 3.6%.
Qualcomm Inc jumped 5.2% after the company won a major victory in its legal dispute with Apple Inc that called for the iPhone to once again use Qualcomm modem chips.
Netflix Inc fell 1.1% after the video streaming service provider's weak forecast unnerved investors just as Hollywood's streaming video wars were set to intensify.
International Business Machines Corp declined 3.5% after reporting a bigger-than-expected drop in quarterly revenue.
At 6:46 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 28 points, or 0.11%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 5 points, or 0.17% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 21 points, or 0.27%.
With earnings season in full swing, analysts now expect first-quarter S&P 500 profits to have dropped 1.8% year-on-year, according to Refinitiv data. While a solid improvement over recent estimates, it would still mark the first earnings contraction since 2016.
Of the 42 S&P 500 companies that have posted so far, 81% have beaten consensus, compared with the 65% average beat rate going back to 1994.
PepsiCo Inc rose 2.1% after quarterly results beat Wall Street estimates on higher demand for its snacks, low-sugar sodas.
On the economic front, a Commerce Department report, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, is expected to show U.S. trade deficit widening to $53.5 billion in February.
The Federal Reserve issues its so-called Beige Book at 2 p.m. ET, a compendium of anecdotes on the health of the economy, drawn from the central bank's sources across the nation.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.
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