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Strong Alphabet, Intel earnings drive futures higher

Robust earnings from Google-owner Alphabet and Intel lifted US stock index futures on Friday, as investors await data th

July 26, 2019

Robust earnings from Google-owner Alphabet and Intel lifted US stock index futures on Friday, as investors await data that is widely expected to show that the domestic economy grew at its slowest pace in over two years in the second quarter.

The GDP data will show the extent of the impact of the US-China trade war on the economy and is expected to feed into the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates.

Hopes that the Fed will cut rates by at least 25 basis points at its policy meeting at the end of this month have powered a solid run in stocks this month, lifting the main indexes to record highs.

"We find ourselves in a position where traders seem to want bad news - it's like bad news is a good news scenario as long as the data is not devastating," said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda in London.

"Traders want that sweet spot which is the data is weak enough to encourage central banks to act but not so weak that it actually is problematic."

Alphabet Inc rose 8.6% after the company reported quarterly results that beat estimates and eased investors' concerns about growth challenges facing its Google advertising business.

Fellow FAANG member Inc fell 1.3% after the online retailer reported its first profit miss in two years and said income would slump in the current quarter, as it ramps up spending on one-day delivery.

The S&P 500 posted its first loss of the week on Wednesday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi adopted a less dovish tone than investors had anticipated, even though he all but pledged to ease policy further.

At 6:49 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 86 points, or 0.32%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 10 points, or 0.33% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 36.75 points, or 0.46%.

Two weeks into the second-quarter earnings season, about 75% of the 185 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far have topped profit estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

Intel Corp gained 4.9% after the chipmaker gave an upbeat current-quarter forecast and raised its full-year revenue guidance, allaying concerns about a global chip slowdown and curbs on US sales to China's Huawei Technologies Co.

The Commerce Department will publish its second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) report on Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).

Copyright Reuters, 2019