Friday April 27th


Nasdaq is set to surge at the open as Amazon soars on earnings

The Nasdaq composite was tipped to open sharply higher on Friday after Amazon posted stronger-than-expected earnings. Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a gain of 107.10 points at the open, as Amazon shares rose 8 percent in the premarket. The PowerShares QQQ Trust ETF popped 1.5 percent. The tech-heavy index also got a boost from Microsoft, which jumped 3.7 percent before the bell on better-than-expected earnings. The S&P 500 was also indicated to rise at the open, while the Dow Jones industrial average stared down slight losses to start the day. The moves in premarket trade came after markets in the U.S. finished the previous session in the black, with the Dow Jones industrial average surging more than 200 points by the close on the back of better-than-expected corporate results. Earnings season continues on Friday, with Chevron and Exxon Mobil among the companies set to report. In data, the advance estimate of U.S. first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) topped expectations, showing growth of 2.3 percent. Consumer sentiment figures will come out at 10 a.m. ET. Politics will remain at the forefront of investors' minds Friday, both domestically and internationally. Overseas, the leaders of South and North Korea met at the border between the two countries for historic face-to-face discussions. The talks are expected to ease tensions between the two nations, with the two leaders on Friday having pledged to remove the risk of war and collaborate in order to secure complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Asia Pacific markets rose on Friday, as investors watched for developments from the Korean peninsula. Japan's Nikkei 225 advanced 148.26 points, or 0.66 percent, to 22,467.87 and the Topix index added 5.1 points, or 0.29 percent, to 1,777.23. Chinese mainland markets also rose, with the Shanghai composite adding 7.14 points, or 0.23 percent, to 3,082.17. The Shenzhen composite gained 5.72 points, or 0.32 percent, to 1,776.12. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index added 0.67 percent in late afternoon trade. South Korea's Kospi trimmed early gains of more than 1 percent to add 16.76 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,492.4. Oil prices edged lower on Friday as the dollar rose, but Brent was still headed for its third week of gains amid supply concerns should the United States reimpose sanctions on Iran. Global benchmark Brent crude futures were down 13 cents at $74.61 a barrel at 7:18 a.m. ET (1118 GMT). This month, Brent hit highs above $75, a level last seen in late 2014. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell 18 cents to $68.01 a barrel. This month, WTI has gained around 4.5 percent. Gold prices held their gains on Friday, while still languishing near five-week lows, after U.S. gross domestic product in the first quarter beat analysts' expectations. Spot gold was up 0.07 percent at $1,317.84 an ounce by 8:40 a.m. ET. On Wednesday gold touched its lowest since March 21 at $1,318.51. U.S. gold futures for June delivery were up 0.06 percent at $1,318.70.