28.04 - Trump's first report card is coming
- by Roger Gain
Earnings continue to flow, Trump’s 100 first days are over.
Here are 4 tips for today's trading. This will help you decide where you should invest and what to look for:
Global stocks saw mixed trade on Thursday as markets prepared to receive a report on the state of the world’s largest economy.
Asian shares ended mixed as U.S. President Donald Trump said that a "major, major" conflict with North Korea is possible but he is looking for a diplomatic answer and investors digested mixed economic data out of Japan.
U.S. stock futures pointed to a flat open on Friday while waiting for the first quarter GDP data. At 09:57 GMT, the blue-chip Dow futures gained 0.03%, S&P 500 futures edged forward 0.08% and the Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 0.05%.
Elsewhere, European equities traded slightly higher as euro zone inflation rose a bit more than expected. At 09:58 GMT, the benchmark Euro Stoxx 500 gained 0.22, Germany’s DAX inched up 0.04%, France’s CAC 40 rose 0.22%, while London’s FTSE 100 fell 0.31% after the U.K. showed weaker-than-expected economic growth in the first quarter.
The U.S. will release preliminary figures on first quarter economic growth at 12:30 GMT Friday.
According to consensus, the data is expected to show that the economy expanded at an annual rate of 1.1% in the first three months of 2017, easing from growth of 2.1% in the fourth quarter.
However, two regional Fed banks strongly disagree over first quarter growth with Atlanta expecting an anemic increase of just 0.2% while New York forecast a 2.7% expansion.
With 54% of S&P 500 firms having already reported earnings for the first quarter period, 76% of these companies have beat earnings-per-share estimates while 69% have topped consensus on sales, according to The Earnings Scout.
“Our research indicates that EPS growth in the first quarter is likely to be between 12% and 14%,” these experts said, but warned that it would also be the peak.
For Friday’s session, investors will keep eyes on earnings from the likes of Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Colgate-Palmolive or Goodyear Tire & Rubber.
Investors will also have the chance to price in results from tech companies released after Thursday’s close. Google parent Alphabet's profit rose 29% on strong ad sales sending shares around 4% higher in after hours trade late Thursday.
Shares in Amazon.com were gaining more than 3% in pre-market trade Friday on the back of soaring retail and cloud-computing sales.
The U.S. Congress took steps to extend until May 5 the deadline for reaching a deal on federal spending through September and head off a feared government shutdown at midnight on Friday.
Republicans introduced a bill on Wednesday to fund government operations at current levels for one more week, giving them more time to finish negotiations with Democrats on a spending plan for the rest of the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
The legislation was likely to be voted on by the House of Representatives and Senate on Friday, meaning that if it passes, it would have to be rushed to President Donald Trump to sign into law promptly.
President Donald Trump downplayed the severity of a potential government shutdown on Thursday, telling Reuters in an interview that “if there's a shutdown, there's a shutdown.”