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S&P 500 futures are currently trading at 2935.25- higher by 0.22% as compared to the previous close. The index futures closed in positive territory in the last trading session also.
In the cash markets, the benchmark index inched up 0.12% to 2930.69 as a decline in the industrials sector limited gains. A 6.6% fall in Altria stocks also weighed on the index as the consumer staples sector declined 0.82%.
Stocks of Facebook surged 6.61% after its first-quarter numbers showed promising growth in Stories and ads. The company set aside around $3 billion for a potential regulatory fine related to its handling of client data. Advisory firm Guggenheim also raised its price target on the social media giant to $220 a share from $200.
Index-member Microsoft rose 4.09% after reporting better-than-expected earnings on Wednesday thanks to a 41% rise in commercial cloud business.
Southwest Airlines rose 0.94% after the company reported first-quarter earnings that beat the market expectation. The air carrier also raised its unit costs outlook.
On the other hand, 3M fell more than 13% after reporting a lower-than-expected quarterly profit before the market opened on Thursday. The company also announced that it would lay off 2,000 workers globally.
According to FactSet, so far more than 170 S&P 500 companies have reported their quarterly earnings. Of those companies, 78% have posted better-than-expected results.
Meanwhile, the benchmark hit an all-time closing high on Tuesday.
On the economic front, Initial Jobless Claims released earlier today came in at 230K in the week ended 20th April. Claims figure was above the market expectation of 201K. Also, Claims number for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.
In addition, Durable Goods Orders (MoM) for March also out today came in at 2.7%. Orders growth was above the market expectation of 0.7%. The Commerce Department said it was largest one-month rise in orders since last summer.
On the technical front, the RSI is currently at 68.10% and suggests that the market can continue trading sideways. The current price is above the MA5. The %K has crossed the %D from below to the upside at around 69% and suggests that the market can move in the upward direction.
Overall Bias is Positive and Short-term trades can be initiated with tight Stop Loss and Take Profit targets.
Trade Suggestion-Limit Sell At 2930, Take Profit At 2945 Stop Loss At 2922