BENGALURU: Wall Street was set to open higher on Friday as solid results from Microsoft fed into a bullish mood following signs from New York Fed President John Williams that the US central bank was set to cut interest rates this month.
Microsoft Corp, America’s most valuable company, gained 2.7% premarket after strength in its cloud business helped it beat analysts’ estimates at the end of a week of mixed corporate results.
Shares of the world’s largest oilfield services provider Schlumberger NV rose 1% as it beat quarterly revenue estimates and named insider Olivier Le Peuch as its new chief executive officer.
“Some optimism is being carried forward from New York Fed President John Williams’ comments and largely better-than-expected corporate earnings so far, highlighted by Microsoft,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.
Profit for S&P 500 companies is now expected to rise 0.6% in the second quarter, according to Refinitiv IBES data, in a reversal from earlier estimates of a drop.
Williams’ remarks that the Fed cannot wait for economic disaster to unfold and must add stimulus early were behind Thursday’s positive close.
Traders raised bets for a larger, half-percentage point cut in rates at the July 30-31 policy meeting to 41%, from a 23% chance a week ago, according to CME Group’s FedWatch program.
At 8:41 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 73 points, or 0.27%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.75 points, or 0.16%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 18.5 points, or 0.23%.
The main indexes have eased off all-time highs hit at the start of this week as some of the first batches of second-quarter earnings releases pointed to a slowdown in growth under the shadow of US-China trade talks.
Boeing Co disclosed it would take a US$4.9 billion after-tax hit due to estimated disruptions from the grounding of its 737 MAX, but shares gained 2.1% indicating that investors had feared worst.
Kansas City Southern rose about 2% after the railroad posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit. Credit card issuer American Express Co’s beat profit estimates but shares slipped about 1% as expenses jumped.