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Nasdaq Futures Jump on Strong Meta Results; GDP Data Awaited

  • Meta shares surge after Facebook ekes out user growth
  • Qualcomm rises after it forecasts upbeat revenue
  • Futures up: Dow 0.69%, S&P 1.31%, Nasdaq 1.90%

April 28 (Reuters) - Nasdaq futures jumped almost 2% on Thursday, as a surge in Meta Platforms shares after its strong results eased pressure on growth and technology stocks that have been battered on concerns about rising interest rates.

The Facebook-parent rose 17% in premarket trading after it reported a stronger-than-expected profit and the social-networking site eked out user growth. 

Other megacap stocks such as Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Inc and Tesla Inc rose between 1.4% and 2.2%.

"Markets were quite fearful at the start of the earnings season but Meta's earnings last night seems to have calmed sentiment," said Kaspar Hense, senior portfolio manager at Bluebay Asset Management in London.

"It looks like we have turned a corner for the outlook for U.S. stocks."

Meanwhile, a Commerce Department report at 8:30 a.m. ET is expected to show U.S. economic growth likely slowed sharply in the first quarter as a wave of COVID cases curbed activity, but retained sufficient underlying strength to keep the expansion on track. 

According to a Reuters survey of economists, GDP growth likely increased at a 1.1% annualized rate last quarter after clocking 6.9% growth in the fourth quarter.

The Ukraine war, China's COVID lockdowns and surging inflation have weighed on the outlook for global economy, sparking volatility across markets in April.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is set for its worst monthly performance in years as investors dumped high-growth stocks on fears that rising interest rates will threaten future earnings and Netflix Inc posted a shocking subscriber loss.

Apple, the world's most valuable company, and e-commerce giant Amazon are set to report earnings after markets close.

Overall, first-quarter earnings have been better than expected, with nearly 80% of the 176 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results through Thursday beating Wall Street expectations. Typically, only 66% of companies beat estimates.

At 06:54 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 230 points, or 0.69%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 54.75 points, or 1.31%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 246.75 points, or 1.9%.

Qualcomm Inc jumped 7.5% after the chipmaker forecast third-quarter revenue above analyst expectations. Peers Nvidia Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc climbed more than 3% each. 

McDonald's Corp edged up 0.3% ahead of its earnings, while industrial giant Caterpillar Inc slipped 1.4% despite reporting a 14.3% rise in first-quarter revenue. 

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru, Saikat Chatterjee in London; Editing by Arun Koyyur

Source: Reuters

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