US STOCKS-Futures rise as better earnings ease nerves
By Shreyashi Sanyal
Oct 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Thursday, as solid results from Microsoft, Lam Research and Tesla lifted sentiment following lackluster reports from big bellwether companies in the previous session.
Third-quarter earnings reports are center stage with investors trying to gauge the fallout from a prolonged U.S.-China trade war, which has already shown up in the domestic economy.
But the narrative so far has been fairly upbeat, with only a small crop of companies including industrial giant Caterpillar, toy-maker Hasbro Inc, and chipmaker Texas Instruments TXN.O blaming the tariff moves for denting results.
Tech giant Microsoft Corp MSFT.O gained 1% premarket as its forecast for cloud computing services surpassed analysts' expectations. Tesla Inc TSLA.O surged 18.2% after a surprise quarterly profit.
Lam Research Corp LRCX.O jumped 7% after the chip gear maker forecast strong results for the December quarter.
Chip-related stocks including Microchip Technology MCHP.O, Micron MU.O and Nvidia NVDA.O also looked set to recover from a selloff in the previous session, sparked by a revenue warning from industry proxy Texas Instruments.
Of the 124 S&P 500 companies that reported results up to Wednesday, more than 82% topped earnings estimates, according to Refinitiv data. But analysts are still forecasting the first earnings contraction since 2016.
Comcast Corp CMCSA.O added 3.4%, while Dow Inc DOW.N gained 3% after both companies exceeded profit estimates.
Among the few weak results for the day, Post-it notes maker 3M Co MMM.N fell 2.7% after cutting its full-year profit forecast and missing third-quarter revenue estimates.
Twitter Inc TWTR.N slid nearly 20% after the social media platform posted worse-than-expected third quarter results.
At 7:27 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 31 points, or 0.12%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 rose 5.25 points, or 0.17% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 43.5 points, or 0.55%.
In a relatively quiet week regarding new twists in the U.S.-China trade rhetoric, focus has shifted to fresh domestic economic data.
PMI surveys for the manufacturing and services sectors, due 9:45 a.m. ET, will offer further clarity on the health of the U.S. economy after a mixed bag of business sentiment indicators from major economies including Japan and the euro zone.
(Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)
((Shreyashi.Sanyal@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 8780))
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