Updated from 8:08 a.m. ET, Thursday, July 20.
Stock futures were signaling that Wall Street would open at new records on Thursday, July 20.
S&P 500 futures gained 0.17%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.1%, and Nasdaq futures rose 0.28%.
Another day of gains for Wall Street pushed the S&P 500, Nasdaq and Dow to new records on Wednesday, July 19. The S&P 500 added 0.53% to a record close of 2,473, and the Nasdaq increased 0.64% to 6,385. The Dow was up 0.3% to a new record of 21,640. Merger talks between Discovery Communications Inc. (DISCA) - Get Report and Scripps Networks Interactive Inc. (SNI) set the S&P 500 and Nasdaq higher, while more gains for the tech sector boosted overall markets.
In earnings news, T-Mobile U.S. Inc. (TMUS) - Get Report rose 3.6% in premarket trading after reporting a jump in quarterly earnings. Second-quarter profit surged to 67 cents a share from 25 cents a year earlier and came in far higher than consensus of 38 cents. Revenue of $10.21 billion flew past estimates of $9.81 billion. The telecom added 1.3 million customers over the three-month period. T-Mobile said the subscriber additions in the quarter marked the 17th consecutive quarter it added more than 1 million customers.
American Express Co. (AXP) - Get Report fell 1.2% even after beating earnings and sales estimates over its second quarter. The credit card company earned $1.47 a share over its recent quarter, lower than $2.10 a year earlier but above estimates of $1.43. Revenue rose by 1% to $8.3 billion and exceeded forecasts of $8.19 billion.
Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM) - Get Report fell 2.3% in premarket trading on Thursday after the chip giant issued a downbeat forecast for its fiscal fourth quarter, largely because of its ongoing legal dispute with Apple Inc. (AAPL) - Get Report . For the fourth quarter, Qualcomm said it expects to report sales of between $5.4 billion and $6.2 billion, compared to Wall Street's projected $5.5 billion. Qualcomm forecast GAAP earnings of between 55 cents and 65 cents a share. Qualcomm's licensing business continues to be impacted by its legal battle with Apple. The QTL licensing segment saw its sales fall quarter over quarter to $1.17 billion, which was below analysts' estimates of $1.47 billion.
Qualcomm has been ensnared in a legal dispute with Apple since January, when the tech giant sued the chipmaker for $1 billion, claiming that it collected royalties for technologies it wasn't involved with, including Touch ID and cameras. Apple has said it will withhold future royalty payments until the dispute is resolved, forcing Qualcomm to slash its revenue forecast for the third quarter.
The company said its guidance assumes no royalty payments on 3G/4G device sales from either Apple or another unnamed major licensee it is at odds with.
Unilever PLC (UL) - Get Reportposted solid earnings for the first six months of the year and said it sees margin improvement and accelerating growth into the second half of 2017. Unilever said earnings per share rose 14.4% from the same period last year to €1.13 for the six months ended in June, well ahead of the FactSet consensus of €0.84 a share. Sales for the period rose 5.5% to €27.7 billion ($31.9 billion). Underlying sales growth for the second quarter rose 3%, the company said, to €14.4 billion, just shy of the company-supplied consensus of 3.2%.
Union Pacific Corp. (UNP) - Get Report rose 2.4% after a better-than-expected quarter. The railroad company earned $1.45 a share over its recent quarter, 6 cents higher than estimates. Revenue increased just over 10% to $5.25 billion, beating consensus by $60 million.
Other earnings of note include Alcoa Corp. (AA) - Get Report , Kinder Morgan (KMI) - Get Report , Steel Dynamics (STLD) - Get Report , United Rentals (URI) - Get Report , Travelers Cos. (TRV) - Get Report , Snap-On Inc. (SNA) - Get Report , Sherwin-Williams (SHW) - Get Report , Phillip Morris (PM) - Get Report , KeyCorp (KEY) - Get Report , Dover Corp. (DOV) - Get Report , Blackstone (BX) - Get Report , BB&T Corp. (BBT) - Get Report , Bank of New York-Mellon (BK) - Get Report , and Abbott Labs (ABT) - Get Report .
The European Central Bank opted to leave interest rates unchanged at its Thursday meeting, meeting economists' expectations. The central bank also repeated that it would continue to buy 60 billion euros in government bonds through to December or longer "if necessary." ECB President Mario Draghi will hold a press conference within the hour.
Jobless claims saw a large drop in mid-July, according to the latest reading from the Labor Department. The number of new claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell by 15,000 to 233,000 in the past week. The less volatile, four-week claims average declined by 2,250 to 243,750.
Business conditions in the Philadelphia weakened more than expected in July. The Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook fell to 19.5 in July, far weaker than an expected reading of 24. The index sat at 27.6 in June.
Eat, Drink and Talk Money with Jim Cramer
Meet Jim Cramer at an exclusive reception at his Bar San Miguel in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Tuesday, July 25, from 6:30 p.m. To 9 p.m.
The evening will start with a screening of Jim's CNBC show Mad Money. Afterwards, Jim will join the party fresh off of the CNBC set to mingle, take photos and answer your investing questions.
Tickets include dinner, drinks and an autographed copy of Jim's book Get Rich Carefully.
Click here for more information or to buy tickets.
Where: Bar San Miguel, 307 Smith St., Brooklyn, N.Y.
When: Tuesday, July 25, 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.