Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, April 28:
1. -- Stock Futures Point Lower Ahead of Fed, Biden and Apple Earnings
Stock futures pointed to a mostly lower start for Wall Street Wednesday and Treasuries rose modestly ahead of a policy update from the Federal Reserve, President Joe Biden's first address to a joint Congress and earnings from Apple (AAPL) - Get Report and Facebook (FB) - Get Report.
Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 25 points, S&P 500 futures rose 5 points and Nasdaq futures declined 4 points. Stocks closed mixed Tuesday, with the S&P 500 ending just below the record high it set a day earlier.
Investors expect the Federal Reserve on Wednesday to not make any policy changes and to leave asset purchases unchanged. However, Wall Street will be paying close attention to indications of when the Fed might begin to trim its $120 billion in monthly asset purchases and its outlook on inflation.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell has said it would be some time before conditions were met that would warrant a scaling back of the Fed's monthly bond buys or a boost in short-term interest rates from nearly zero.
Bond yields rose ahead of the Fed's latest policy announcement. The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose to 1.645% after a heavy selloff in the U.S. on Tuesday pushed the yield to settle at 1.622%, the highest since April 14.
Biden, in his address Wednesday evening, is expected to unveil the second part of his infrastructure and jobs plan and new spending on government programs that will be paid for likely with higher taxes on the wealthy.
2. -- Advanced Micro Devices Rises on Increased Sales Forecast
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) - Get Report was rising 4.86% in premarket trading after the chipmaker posted modestly better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and forecast solid near-term sales amid improving chip demand and stronger pricing linked to the global semiconductor shortage.
The company said it expects second-quarter revenue of about $3.6 billion, plus or minus $100 million, and a non-GAAP gross margin of 47%. Analysts expect revenue of about $3.28 billion.
AMD boosted its revenue forecast for 2021, saying it expects sales to rise about 50% from a year earlier, up from previous guidance of 37%. The new forecast implies 2021 revenue of about $14.65 billion.
"Our increased full-year guidance highlights the strong growth we expect across our business based on increasing adoption of our high-performance computing products and expanding customer relationships,” said CEO Lisa Su.
"Management's ability to raise numbers in a period when the entire industry is battling with supply constraints is impressive," said Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds AMD in its portfolio.
3. -- Alphabet Smashes Sales Estimates, to Buy Back $50 Billion of Stock
Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Report was rising 5% early Wednesday after the parent of Google posted first-quarter revenue, minus traffic-acquisition costs, of $45.6 billion, well ahead of analysts' estimates.
Search revenue in the quarter was $31.9 billion and YouTube ads generated sales of $6.01 billion, an increase of 49% from a year earlier.
Revenue at the company’s cloud division advanced 45.7% to $4.05 billion.
Operating margins in the first quarter rose to 30% in the quarter from 19% a year earlier.
The company also said it was authorized by its board to buy back up to an additional $50 billion of its Class C capital stock.
"Over the last year, people have turned to Google Search and many online services to stay informed, connected and entertained. We've continued our focus on delivering trusted services to help people around the world," said Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai in a statement.
"Going forward, as the economy continues to reopen, we believe Alphabet will remain a key beneficiary of the improving greater economy, thanks to the increased ad spend that comes with a rebound in business activity," said Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds Alphabet in its portfolio.
4. -- Microsoft's 19% Sales Jump Gets Lift From the Cloud
Microsoft's (MSFT) - Get Report fiscal third-quarter earnings and sales topped analysts' estimates for the ninth straight quarter but shares of the software and hardware maker declined 2.47% in premarket trading Wednesday.
Sales rose 19% to $41.7 billion, getting a boost from the company's cloud-computing division and gains in personal computer shipments. While third-quarter sales topped forecasts, they came in below the highest projections of $41.9 billion, according to Bloomberg.
Microsoft's Azure cloud division posted revenue growth of 50% in the quarter, matching the growth from the previous quarter.
“The Street was hoping for a stronger top-line beat,” said Wedbush analyst Dan Ives. “Although Azure came in ahead of Street expectations and that remains key for the bulls.”
For the fourth quarter, Microsoft said it expects revenue at its personal computing business of between $13.6 billion and $14 billion. In the Intelligent Cloud segment, revenue was forecast at between $16.2 billion and $16.45 billion.
"At the end of the day, the world is moving toward more decentralized hybrid cloud computing environments and Microsoft is leading the charge," said Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds Microsoft in its portfolio.
5.-- Wednesday's Calendar: Apple, Boeing and Ford Earnings
Earnings reports are expected Wednesday from Apple (AAPL) - Get Report, Ford (F) - Get Report, Facebook (FB) - Get Report, Qualcomm (QCOM) - Get Report, Discovery Communications (DISCA) - Get Report, Shopify (SHOP) - Get Report, Spotify (SPOT) - Get Report, Yum Brands (YUM) - Get Report, eBay (EBAY) - Get Report, ServiceNow (NOW) - Get Report, Teladoc Health (TDOC) - Get Report and MGM Resorts (MGM) - Get Report.
The U.S. economic calendar Wednesday includes an announcement on interest rates from the Federal Reserve at 2 p.m. ET, followed by a press conference with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell at 2:30 p.m.
The calendar also includes International Trade in Goods (Advance) for March at 8:30 a.m. and Oil Inventories for the week ended April 23 at 10:30 a.m.