Stock futures grind higher with earnings in focus

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Stocks hit records highs Thursday as investors sifted through strong economic data and another batch of earnings

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 33997.53 +266.64 +0.79%
SP500 S&P 500 4166.85 +42.19 +1.02%
I:COMP n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained over 270 points, or 0.81% crossing the 34,000 level for the first time. UnitedHealth and Microsoft touching fresh records. The 1,000 milestone move is the third fastest on record, as tracked by the Dow Jones Market Data Group. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
UNH UNITEDHEALTH GROUP, INC. 389.92 +13.07 +3.47%
MSFT MICROSOFT CORP. 258.90 +3.31 +1.29%

While the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.17% and 1%, respectively. Both the Dow and the S&P were trading at all-time highs.

JOBLESS CLAIMS FALL TO PRE-PANDEMIC LOWS

The advance comes after the Census Bureau said retail sales surged 9.8% month over month in March, far exceeding the 5.9% gain that analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting. Additionally,  initial jobless claims for the week ended April 10 totaled 576,000, the lowest since lockdowns aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19 began in March 2020.  

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
BAC BANK OF AMERICA CORP. 38.52 -1.44 -3.60%
C CITIGROUP, INC. 72.31 -0.65 -0.88%
JPM JPMORGAN CHASE & CO. 151.28 -0.11 -0.08%
C CITIGROUP, INC. 72.31 -0.65 -0.88%

On Thursday, Bank of America Corp. reported quarterly profit more than doubled after the firm released $2.7 billion of reserves that had been set aside to protect against loan losses during the pandemic. The bank also announced a $25 billion stock buyback plan. 

Citigroup Inc. beat on both earnings and revenue and said it would shut down most of its consumer-banking operations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.  

The better-than-expected results from Bank of America and Citigroup are further evidence of the strength in the sector displayed by JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co on Wednesday. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
DAL DELTA AIR LINES INC. 46.73 -1.44 -2.99%

Elsewhere in earnings, Delta Air Lines Inc. said its quarterly loss widened from a year ago, but that it expects to return to profitability in the September quarter. Adjusted earnings per share missed estimates while revenue beat. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
COIN COINBASE GLOBAL 331.22 +2.94 +0.90%

Meanwhile, Coinbase Global Inc. will remain in focus during its first full day of trading as a public company as shares continued to climb. The stock, on Wednesday afternoon, opened at $381 apiece and hit a high of $429.54 before settling at $328.28 and a market capitalization of $85.8 billion. 

In deals, Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. agreed to buy PPD Inc. for about $21 billion including debt. The agreement will pay PPD shareholders $47.50 per share – a 10.6% premium to Wednesday’s closing price. 

Dell Technologies Inc. will spin off its 81% stake in cloud-software company VMWare Inc. which will pay a special dividend of up to $12 billion to the firm’s shareholders. Dell shareholders will receive 0.44 VMWare shares for each share they own. 

In commodities, West Texas Intermediate crude oil slipped 26 cents to $62.89 per barrel and gold climbed $12.50 to $1,748.80 per ounce. 

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Overseas markets were mixed. 

European markets were higher across the board with Britain’s FTSE 100 rising 0.61% while France’s CAC 40 gained 0.45% and Germany’s DAX 30 increased 0.28%. 

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 edged up 0.07%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.37% and China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.52%.