Friday April 26th


Stock futures rebound as better-than-expected GDP data ease concerns about the economy

U.S. stock index futures rebounded on Friday after data showed the economy expanded at a faster-than-expected pace in the first quarter. At around 8:41 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell just 10 points, indicating a loss of about 18 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 pared losses well but still pointed to a slight loss. Nasdaq-100 futures were higher as shares of Amazon gained. Futures were much lower before the GDP release after poor earnings from Exxon Mobil and Intel. First-quarter gross domestic product was 3.2%, the Commerce Department said on Friday, topping the consensus economist estimate of 2.5%, according to Dow Jones. An increase in exports drove the increase. Dow member Exxon fell more than 2.5% in the premarket after reporting quarterly earnings per share that badly missed analyst expectations. Intel, another Dow component, fell more than 7% after the company issued light revenue guidance for the year. Amazon shares traded higher after results topped expectations on Thursday and Wall Street analysts trumpeted its announced push to one-day delivery for Prime members. Other companies that reported between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning include Ford Motor, Mattel, Starbucks and American Airlines. Market focus is also largely attuned to economic developments, amid speculation that figures later in the session could show the U.S. economy outperforming the rest of the developed world. A string of robust numbers for the world’s largest economy has prompted analysts to revise up their forecasts for expansion and the latest Reuters poll is for annualized growth of 2%. Shares in Asia mostly declined on Friday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 100 points overnight. Mainland Chinese shares declined on the day, with the Shanghai compositeslipping 1.20% to 3,086.40 and the Shenzhen component declining about 1.28% to 9,780.82. The Shenzhen composite also declined 1.33% to 1,665.80. Meanwhile, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index shed about 0.1% in its final hour of trading. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 declined 0.22% to close at 22,258.73. The Topix also slipped 0.15% to finish its trading day at 1,617.93. Over in South Korea, the Kospi declined 0.51% to close at 2,179.31. Oil prices fell on Friday on expectations that some OPEC members will raise output to counter shrinking exports from Iran after sanctions imposed by the United States. The pullback on Friday threatened to derail the longest run of weekly gains in years. Oil markets have tightened amid an OPEC output cut deal, sanctions on Venezuela and Iran and unsteady production in Libya. Brent crude futures were down $1.66, or 2.2%, at $72.70 per barrel around. Brent was still up about 1% for the week, set for a fifth weekly price gain, the longest stretch in a year. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell $1.23, or 1.9%, to $63.98 per barrel, putting them on pace for a weekly loss. WTI had been on track for its eighth successive weekly gain, the longest weekly run since the first half of 2015. Gold prices climbed on Friday, as signs of weak global growth rekindled investor interest in the safe-haven metal, keeping it on track for its first weekly gain in five, ahead of U.S. GDP data. Spot gold was up 0.4 percent at $1,281.69 per ounce, as of 0813 GMT. The metal has risen 0.5 percent so far this week, and is poised for its first gain since the week ended March 22. U.S. gold futures edged up 0.3 percent to $1,283.80 an ounce.