On Friday U.S. stock futures directed towards a record open for the benchmark S&P 500 index as investors bet heavily on robust corporate earnings, while ignoring the idea of a possible U.S. government shutdown.
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that will fund government operations through to Feb. 16 to avoid agency shutdowns over the weekend when the existing provisions will end. However, the bill has yet to be approved by the Senate.
Equity investors have coped with the idea of another government shutdown easily and reactions have been mainly subdued during the three past shutdowns.
At 6:53 a.m. EST: Dow e-minis were up 96 points, or 0.37 percent, with 31,034 contracts traded. S&P 500 e-minis were up 8.5 points, or 0.3 percent, with 136,060 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 32.75 points, or 0.48 percent, on volume of 34,923 contracts.
On Thursday, the three indexes declined due to the losses in industrials as well as the sectors that are interest-rate sensitive.
Schlumberger, the first large energy company to report earnings this season, displayed a larger quarterly loss than last year as it took $2.7 billion in charges. In premarket trading its shares fell 0.5 percent.
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Among companies that reported overnight, IBM announced its first revenue increase in 23 quarters. However, IBM warned that a higher tax rate this year would take away from profits and its shares dropped over 3 percent premarket.
American Express fell 2 percent following the company’s announcement of its first quarterly loss in 26 years. The credit card issuer added that it would not buy back shares for the next six months due to the impact of the U.S. tax reform.
Square increased over 3 percent after brokerage Instinet moved up its price target on the stock by $16 to $64, stating that this year will be a “phenomenal year” because of positive growth in gross payment value.
Nvidia gained over 2 percent after BofA Merrill Lynch published a note with a bullish tone, stating that its stock was trading at a premium value but was warranted from its supremacy in artificial intelligence, gaming, virtual reality and autonomous cars.