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Stock Futures Gaining Ground as Earnings Beat Expectations, 10-Yr Stays Below 3.0%

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Propped up by strong corporate earnings and a sub-3.0% yield in the 10-year Treasury note, US stock futures were trading higher ahead of Thursday's opening bell with the technology sector outperforming on the heels of strong quarterly results from Facebook ( FB ) and chipmakers. The social media site crushed Wall Street's expectations with impressive revenue growth of 49% and a 13% increase in daily average users.

Besides earnings and Treasury yields, Wall Street is also taking its cue from European markets, most of which are gaining ground on the decision by the European Central Bank to maintain current monetary policy as well as dovish remarks from ECB president Mario Draghi. Citing recent economic indicators, Draghi said most member countries of the EU experienced some moderation of growth or loss of momentum, suggesting that accommodation is still appropriate.

On the economic front, Thursday's data dump was mostly bullish for Wall Street. Durable goods orders spiked 2.6% in March, exceeding expectations for a 1.7% gain. However, nearly all of the surge in orders was generated by the transportation sector, specifically orders for non-defense aircraft which soared 44.5% in March. Excluding transportation, durable goods orders were unchanged, missing estimates for a 0.5% gain.

Jobless claims fell 24,000 to a 49-year low of 209,000 versus the estimated 230,000. Also, the trade deficit in goods narrowed to $68.0 billion in March from a revised deficit of $75.8 billion previously. This is well below estimates of a $74.5 billion deficit.

In related markets, the 10-year note is hovering just below 3.00% while the 2-year note is at 2.48%. The dollar is lower, gold is higher by almost $4 and oil futures are up 1.0%.

-Dow Jones Industrial up 0.24%

-S&P 500 futures up 0.30%

-Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.73%

SENTIMENT

Nikkei was up 0.47%

Hang Seng was down 1.06%

Shanghai Composite was down 1.35%

FTSE-100 was up 0.09%

DAX-30 was up 0.20%

PRE-MARKET SECTOR WATCH

(+) Large cap tech: Higher

(+) Chip stocks: Higher

(+) Software stocks: Higher

(+) Hardware stocks: Higher

(+) Internet stocks: Higher

(+) Oil stocks: Higher

(+) Biotech stocks: Higher

(+) Drug stocks: Higher

(+) Financial stocks: Higher

(+/-) Retail stocks: Flat

(+) Industrial stocks: Higher

(-) Airlines: Lower

(+/-) Autos: Mixed

UPSIDE MOVERS:

(+) MATR (+25.58%) To be acquired by affiliate of Nice ( NICE ) for $2.70 per share

(+) CMG (+13.34%) Q1 earnings beat expectations, raised share buyback by $100 million

(+) ORLY (+12.00%) Q1 profit and sales exceeded estimates, guided Q2 earnings, FY18 sales in-line

DOWNSIDE MOVERS:

(-) NETE (-11.88%) Unfavorable Barron's article calling the stock a "stinker"

(-) BGG (-11.21%) Lowered FY18 earnings guidance

(-) SXCP (-10.60%) Reported strong Q1 results

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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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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