Stock futures trimmed early losses and small caps turned positive Thursday, following a second-straight improvement in weekly unemployment data. Miner Freeport-McMoRan dipped on earnings, even as copper neared its highest price in a decade. Earnings news also sent Chipotle, Equifax and Pool Corp. sharply higher. Meanwhile, Walt Disney topped the Dow Jones today after announcing a content deal with Sony.
Early action flattened, with Dow Jones futures and S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures hovering a fraction below fair value. Small caps reversed higher, with Russell 2000 futures rising 0.4% in early trade.
Premarket action among Nasdaq 100 stocks was mild, with gains and losses holding to less than 1%. Chip equipment maker ASML Holdings (ASML) was the exception, up 1.1%. The IBD 50 stock scored a 6.3% gain Wednesday, after strong first-quarter results.
S&P 500 stocks punched a little harder, as earnings news boosted Equifax (EFX) and Tractor Supply (TSCO) to the top of the index, up 9% and 3.8%, respectively. Hartford Financial Services (HIG) and Las Vegas Sands (LVS) dropped about 2% apiece, also on earnings, to the bottom of the index.
Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) climbed more than 1% after its first-quarter results included its biggest revenue increase in almost seven years. AT&T (T) rumbled 4% higher after the telecom giant turned in its first earnings gain in five quarters. American Airlines Group (AAL) and steelmaker Cleveland Cliffs (CLF) also rallied on earnings. Shares of data warehousing leader Teradata (TDC) spiked 28%, after the company significantly raised its first-quarter earnings guidance.
First-time applications for unemployment dropped more than expected for a second straight week, to 547,000 in the week ended April 17, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That marked almost a 7% drop from the prior week’s 586,000 claims, and undercut economist projections for an uptick to 615,000 claims.
March existing homes sales and leading economic indicator numbers are due out at 10 a.m. ET. A couple of economic and manufacturing reports are also due out during the session, from the Chicago and Kansas City Federal Reserve banks.
Disney Leads Dow Jones Today, Intel Earnings Due
Walt Disney (DIS) pared its early gain to 0.6%, leading the Dow Jones today. Intel (INTC) posted a 0.3% advance after a federal judge ruled in the company’s favor in a patent dispute with NXP Semiconductors (NXPI). Intel reports first-quarter results after the close. NXP shares rose 0.2%.
Earnings News: Equifax, MarineMax, D.R. Horton
Software developer Qualtrics International (XM) spiked 16% as a pair of analysts upgraded the stock after a strong first-quarter report.
Natural gas pipeline operator Kinder Morgan (KMI) grabbed an early 2.8% gain, after…
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