(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday as strong earnings from Netflix, Johnson & Johnson and UnitedHealth boosted optimism over what is expected to be the strongest earnings season in seven years.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, (NYSE) in New York, U.S., April 16, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

At 6:52 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 151 points, or 0.61 percent, S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 rose 13.75 points, or 0.51 percent, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 gained 34.5 points, or 0.51 percent.

Netflix (NFLX.O) shares surged 6.44 percent premarket after the video-streaming pioneer smashed analysts’ quarterly subscriber estimates, helped by a blitz of original content.

The stock, the best performer on the S&P 500 .SPX this year, was the top gainer among S&P and Nasdaq .IXIC components in premarket trading.

On the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI, which is down about 0.6 percent so far this year, health stocks led the gainers.

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UnitedHealth (UNH.N) rose 1.78 percent after the largest U.S. health insurer raised its earnings forecast and posted results that beat Wall Street estimates.

J&J (JNJ.N) rose 0.94 percent after reporting a 12.6 percent rise in sales. Goldman Sachs (GS.N) shares rose 0.4 percent after the investment bank reported 27 percent surge in profit.

The results will add to optimism about first-quarter earnings growth, which is expected to be the strongest in seven years. Analysts expect S&P companies’ profit rose 18.6 percent in the quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Investors have shifted their focus from geopolitical and trade concerns, which have roiled the markets in the recent months.

However, U.S.-China trade issues continue to simmer. China moved to slap a hefty temporary deposit on imports of U.S. sorghum in a preliminary antidumping ruling. Archer Daniel (ADM.N), a top seller of U.S. sorghum into China, was down 0.9 percent.

The move came a day after the United States banned American companies from selling parts and software to China’s ZTE Corp (0763.HK) for seven years.

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A U.S.-led attack on Syria over the weekend has so far not prompted any military retaliation from Russia, easing fears over the conflict escalating.

Tesla (TSLA.O) shares fell 0.84 percent after the electric car maker temporarily suspended its Model 3 assembly line, in what it said was a planned production pause.

Data on U.S. homebuilding and industrial production are expected ahead of the opening bell.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta



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