Here are five things you must know for Friday April 27:
1. -- Stocks Set to Open Mostly Lower
U.S. stock futures pointed to a mostly weaker start for Wall Street on Friday, April 27, following solid gains during the previous session that were driven by a surge in shares of Facebook Inc. (FB) - Get Report , which posted a blowout first quarter.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 84 points, while those linked to the broader S&P 500 declined 5.25 points. Futures for the Nasdaq rose 8.25 points.
The U.S. economic calendar on Friday includes the first estimate for first-quarter GDP at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect GDP to come in at a 2% annualized rate compared with 2.9% in the fourth quarter of 2017.
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2. -- Amazon Doubles Profit, Boosts Prime Membership Fee
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) - Get Report was rising 7.1% in premarket trading to $1,625.50, an all-time high for the stock, after the online retailer obliterated Wall Street's forecasts with a first-quarter earnings report that saw profits double and sales top $50 billion.
Amazon said earnings for the three months ended in March were $3.27 a share, well ahead of the Wall Street consensus of $1.24 and more than double the $1.48 reported in the same period a year earlier. Sales surged 43% to $51.04 billion, while sales at its web service division, Amazon Web Services, rose 49% to $5.44 billion.
"AWS had the unusual advantage of a seven-year head start before facing like-minded competition, and the team has never slowed down," said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. "As a result, the AWS services are by far the most evolved and most functionality-rich. AWS lets developers do more and be nimbler, and it continues to get even better every day."
"That's why you're seeing this remarkable acceleration in AWS growth, now for two quarters in a row, he added.
Amazon also said it would raise the cost of its Prime membership for U.S. customers by 20%, a move that will boost the company's already robust $3.1 billion in quarter subscription revenue.
Bezos announced recently in Amazon's annual shareholder letter that Prime membership had surpassed 100 million paid members globally, the first time Amazon had released subscriber numbers for Prime.
Amazon is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio.
"Overall, this dynamic quarter from Amazon confirmed why we were so adamant about getting this stock into the trust," said Cramer and the AAP team.
3. -- Microsoft's Strong Earnings Are Driven by the Cloud
Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) - Get Report reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue in its fiscal third quarter, with CEO Satya Nadella telling investors that cloud computing and digital transformation of corporations drove results.
"The intelligent cloud and intelligent edge era is already upon us," Nadella said during a conference call after the earnings were released on Thursday.
Microsoft earned 95 cents a share in the quarter, topping forecasts of 85 cents. Revenue of $26.8 billion beat expectations of $25.8 billion.
Shares gained 3.7% in premarket trading on Friday.
Microsoft's Azure cloud unit was the fastest-growing business, with a 93% gain in revenue, down from 98% in the prior quarter.
Microsoft's core enterprise applications also saw strong growth, with Microsoft Dynamics 365 customer and resource management software growing 65% and Office 365 Commercial sales gaining 42%.
Social network LinkedIn grew 37% in the quarter. "We saw record levels of engagement," Nadella said, with demand for sponsored content and job postings driving growth.
4. -- Intel Beats on Earnings and Sales
Intel reported earnings of 87 cents a share on a non-GAAP basis, compared to analysts' estimates of 72 cents, and the company's guidance of 70 cents. The company also reported first-quarter revenue of $16.1 billion beating estimates of $15.07 billion and guidance of $15 billion.
"Compared to the first-quarter expectations we set in January, revenue was higher, operating margins were stronger and EPS was better," Chief Financial Officer Bob Swan said in a press release. "Our data-centric strategy is accelerating Intel's transformation, and we're raising our earnings and cash flow expectations for the year."
Intel's Data Center Group, which covers server CPUs and other data center products, saw revenue rise 24% to $5.2 billion.
5. -- T-Mobile and Sprint Reportedly Aim for a Deal Next Week
T-Mobile US Inc. (TMUS) - Get Report and Sprint Corp. (S) - Get Report have made progress in negotiating merger terms and are aiming to successfully complete deal talks as early as next week, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
T-Mobile's majority-owner, Deutsche Telekom AG, and Japan's SoftBank Group Corp. (SFTBY) , which controls Sprint, are considering an agreement that would dictate how they exercise voting control over the combined company, two of the sources told Reuters.
The combined company would have more than 127 million customers.
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