Nasdaq futures scale peaks on megacap tech boost, strong earnings

(Reuters) – Nasdaq futures hit a record high on Friday, helped by megacap technology stocks and strong earnings from social media companies Twitter and Snap, with investors eyeing business activity data later in the day.

FILE PHOTO: A street sign for Wall Street is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, New York, U.S., July 19, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Twitter Inc gained 6.3% in premarket trading after it reported upbeat revenue growth, as the social media platform rolled out ad-targeting improvements to help brands reach potential customers.

Snapchat-owner Snap Inc jumped 17.3% after it beat Wall Street estimates for users and revenue in the second quarter, notching the highest growth rates since late-2017.

Strong results from the social media firms set a positive precedent for Facebook Inc, which rose 2.8% ahead of its second-quarter results next week.

Other major tech names, including, Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, and Google-owner Alphabet Inc, were up between 0.4% and 1.4%.

The second-quarter reporting season barreled ahead, with 104 companies in the S&P 500 having reported so far. Of those, 88.5% have beaten consensus estimates, the highest since 1994, according to Refinitiv data.

Wall Street investors have shifted between growth stocks and economy-sensitive “value” names this week, after concerns about the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant roiled markets and sparked a flight to the perceived safety of bond markets on Monday.

Still, the major indexes were set for their fourth weekly gain in five weeks on boost from a batch of strong earnings reports, while the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average and the benchmark S&P 500 index inched closer to their record highs hit last week.

Meanwhile, the focus would also be on IHS Markit’s manufacturing and services sectors report for July, due at 09:45 a.m. ET.

At 6:48 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 170 points, or 0.49% and S&P 500 e-minis were up 21.5 points, or 0.49%.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 72 points, or 0.48%, trading above 15,000 points for the first time.

Intel Corp fell 1.9% after the chipmaker said it still faces supply chain constraints and gave an annual sales forecast that implied a weak end of the year.

Industrial conglomerate Honeywell International rose 0.8% after posting a 32% rise in quarterly profit, helped by improving demand for aircraft parts.

Schlumberger NV rose 1.5% after it reported a rise in its second-quarter profit.

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