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Market Hustle: Stock Futures Hold Gains as Durable Goods Orders Climb

Stocks in this article: ^DJI ^GSPC ^IXIC AAPL FB GM AMZN MSFT GE GM CAT VZ

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher open on Wall Street Thursday, bolstered by a rise in shares of Apple (AAPL) and Facebook (FB) after their upbeat earnings reports, and a stronger-than-expected gain in durable goods orders.

Caterpillar (CAT) and General Motors (GM)were also contributing to the strength after beating Wall Street's bottom-line estimates.

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 35 points, or 62.35 points above fair value, to 16,495, S&P 500 futures were up 8.25 points, or 12.11 points above fair value, to 1,881.25, and Nasdaq futures were up 60 points, or 66.36 points above fair value, to 3,614.5.
  • The March headline number for durable goods orders rose more than expected, up 2.6% vs. the average estimate of 2%.
  • Jobless claims numbers were offsetting some of the premarket strength. Jobless claims for the week of April 19 increased by 24,000 to a more-than-expected 329,000 from upwardly revised prior week levels. The four-week moving average edged up by 4,750 to 316,750.
  • Apple shares were popping more than 8% in premarket trading after the tech behemoth posted fiscal second-quarter earnings that beat Wall Street estimates, and announced a 7-for-1 stock split.
  • Facebook was adding on 5.36% after the social media giant reported first-quarter earnings and revenue that topped expectations as advertising revenue grew more than expected.
  • Thursday is heavy on corporate earnings announcements, with Amazon (AMZN) and Microsoft (MSFT) being among the companies set to report after the closing bell.
  • Amazon is expected to post first-quarter earnings of 23 cents a share on revenue of $19.43 billion.
  • Microsoft is expected to report fiscal third-quarter earnings of 63 cents per share on revenue of $20.39 billion.
  • General Motors was gaining 2.33% after producing first-quarter earnings per share that topped estimates by 2 cents at 6 cents. Caterpillar was advancing more than 4% after posting quarterly earnings that exceeded expectations by 20 cents at $1.44 a share. Verizon (VZ) was edging up 0.51% as quarterly revenue beat estimates; earnings per share were 3 cents below expectations at 84 cents.
  • General Electric (GE) was also moving higher in premarket trading, up 0.53%, following a Bloomberg report that said that GE is in talks to buy Alstom, the French builder of trains and power plants.
  • Major U.S. stock markets slipped Wednesday amid tepid Chinese economic data and a 14.5% month-over-month drop in U.S. new-home sales.

-- By Andrea Tse in New York

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