Wednesday May 1st


Stock futures rise as Apple surges on earnings

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wednesday as investors digested quarterly results from Apple while awaiting for the end of a Federal Reserve meeting. At around 8:40 a.m. ET, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures indicated a gain of 103 points at the open. Futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 both suggested a higher open as well. Apple shares rose 5% in the premarket after its earnings and revenue fro the previous quarter beat expectations. The tech giant’s guidance for the next quarter was also better than expected. “Simply put Apple’s results and outlook across most metrics were clearly better than expected,” an analyst at Citi wrote in a note. “As a result both our and consensus estimates will move slightly higher.” Advanced Micro Devices and Mondelez also gained 4.6% and 2.9%, respectively, after posting better-than-expected results. Wall Street is also looking ahead to an announcement from the Fed on monetary policy. The central bank is largely expected to keep rates steady but investors will look for clues about what the Fed thinks about inflation and where the economy is headed. The U.S. economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.2% in the first quarter, easily surpassing expectations while inflation remains muted. U.S. employment is still strong, however. Private payrolls increased by 275,000 in April, easily blowing by a Dow Jones estimate of 177,000. The strong gain was led by an increase of 223,000 in payrolls within the services sector, ADP and Moody’s Analytics said Wednesday. Other data set for release Wednesday include manufacturing PMI at 9:45 a.m., and construction spending figures at 10 a.m. ET. Australian stocks rose, while New Zealand equities fell Wednesday, with those two markets among the only major Asia-Pacific indexes open on a day that was a public holiday in most countries. Oil prices fell on Wednesday on a report of rising U.S. crude inventories, while an intensifying crisis in Venezuela and tightened U.S. sanctions on Iran added further uncertainty to markets. U.S. crude stocks rose by 6.8 million barrels to 466.4 million barrels in the week to April 26, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said on Tuesday. Official figures from the U.S. government will be released at 10:30 a.m. ET (1430 GMT). Brent crude oil futures were up 4 cents at $72.10 per barrel around 7:30 a.m. ET (1130 GMT). U.S. crude futures were down 27 cents at $63.64 per barrel. Trading was thin as May 1 is a holiday in many markets. Gold inched down on Wednesday after investors developed more appetite for riskier equities before the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monetary policy decision due later in the day. Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,282.46 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures slipped 0.1 percent to $1,284.20 an ounce.