Business Standard

Amazon, Microsoft boost Nasdaq; Exxon drags on S&P


By Sruthi Shankar
(Reuters) - Amazon and Microsoft pushed the Nasdaq higher on Friday, but weak reports from Exxon and other energy companies capped gains on the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial index. Inc surged 7.9 percent to a record high of $1,638.10 after the world's largest online retailer more than doubled its profit and forecast strong spring results.
Microsoft Corp rose 1.5 percent after topping Wall Street forecasts for profit, while Intel gained 2.2 percent as strength in its data centre business drove a profit beat.
Exxon dropped 3.5 percent after posting a lower-than-expected quarterly profit.
The results come a day after Facebook's impressive earnings beat led a rebound in technology stocks on Thursday and helped the main indexes close above 1 percent.
"The market is a little hesitant after a very strong day in response to some earnings that were taken quite positively," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
At 9:56 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 12.32 points, or 0.05 percent, at 24,310.02, the S&P 500 was up 4.02 points, or 0.15 percent, at 2,670.96 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 29.15 points, or 0.41 percent, at 7,147.82.
More than half the S&P 500 firms have reported first-quarter earnings so far, and 79.4 percent have topped profit expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data. The latest estimate for earnings growth was 24.6 percent, up from about 18 percent at the start of season.
U.S. 10-year Treasury yields, the benchmark of global interest rates, retreated further from the 3 percent level, taking some pressure off equities.
Data showed that the U.S. economy's growth slowed in the first quarter to an annual rate of 2.3 percent as consumer spending grew at its weakest pace in nearly five years.
The Jan-March quarter numbers tend to be soft because of a seasonal quirk and Federal Reserve officials are likely to shrug off the weak data.
Sprint surged more than 9 percent after Reuters reported, citing sources, the company and fellow wireless carrier T-Mobile have made progress in negotiating merger terms and are aiming to successfully complete deal talks as early as next week.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 1.44-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and for a 1.44-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 11 new 52-week highs and six new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 34 new highs and 30 new lows.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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First Published: Apr 27 2018 | 8:01 PM IST

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