Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, May 1:
1. -- Stocks Get Boost From Apple Earnings, Ahead of Fed
U.S. stock futures were higher on Wednesday, following another record close for the S&P 500, after a robust earnings report from tech giant Apple (AAPL - Get Report) and ahead of a decision on interest rates from the Federal Reserve.
The stronger earnings performance from Apple and other tech-focused stocks, set against better-than-expected readings for first-quarter economic growth in both Europe and the United States, suggests U.S. equities could have more room to run, particularly given the fact that the Fed is expected to make no changes to its key lending rate later Wednesday. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, meanwhile, could signal a dovish stance on monetary policy well into the start of next year.
The Fed's announcement is scheduled for 2 p.m. ET, with remarks from Powell soon after. Since it's widely expected the central bank will hold steady on interest rates Wall Street will be keen to hear remarks from Powell after the Fed earlier this year said it likely won't raise rates in 2019, adopting a "patient" stance as it monitors the strength of the U.S. economy.
The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday also includes the ADP National Employment Report for April at 8:15 a.m., the PMI Manufacturing Index for April at 9:45 a.m., the ISM Manufacturing Index for April at 10 a.m., and Construction Spending for March at 10 a.m.
Contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 77 points, futures for the S&P 500 rose 9 points, and Nasdaq futures were up 55.50 points.
2. -- Apple Jumps as Services Growth Offsets Fall in iPhone Revenue
The stock rose 5.7% to $212.10 in premarket trading Wednesday, with the Cupertino, California-based tech giant valued at just under $1 trillion.
Apple earned $2.46 a share in the second quarter, beating forecasts by 10 cents. Profit for the three months ended March 30 fell 16% to $11.56 billion. Revenue of $58.02 billion was down 5% from a year earlier but topped expectations of $57.5 billion.
"Our March quarter results show the continued strength of our installed base of over 1.4 billion active devices, as we set an all-time record for services, and the strong momentum of our wearables, home and accessories category, which set a new March quarter record," said Apple CEO Tim Cook.
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iPhone revenue in the quarter was $31.05 billion, down 17% from a year earlier and just below estimates of $31.1 billion.
But services revenue from units such as Apple Pay, iTunes and Apple Music rose more than 16% in the quarter to $11.45 billion and edged past estimates. Gross margin for the division was 64%, nearly twice the level of the company's third-quarter forecast for the entire business.
For its fiscal third quarter, Apple said it expects revenue of $52.5 billion to $54.5 billion vs. estimates of $52.1 billion. The company also said it expects gross margin between 37% and 38% vs. estimates of 38%.
Apple raised its quarterly dividend by 5% to 77 cents a share, and its board authorized an additional $75 billion in its ongoing stock buyback program.
"Bottom line, while we still believe a resolution on the U.S./China trade front will be material in helping push shares to new all-time highs, we view this quarter as clear example of why we believe AAPL to be a stock that should be held for the long-term, not traded," said Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds Apple in its portfolio. "In addition to Services growth driving EPS higher over time, thanks to the expanded margins associated with the segment, and providing the catalyst for multiple expansion, we believe management's commitment to being net cash neutral to be a material factor in protecting downside risk and aiding share price appreciation."
3. -- Advanced Micro Devices Rises on Profit and Sales Beats
Revenue for AMD of $1.27 billion fell from $1.65 billion a year earlier but topped estimates of $1.26 billion. Computing and graphics revenue, which makes up roughly two-thirds of the company's revenue, was $831 million, down from $1.12 billion a year earlier and below expectations of $856 million. Enterprise embedded and semi-custom revenue was $441 million, topping forecasts of $410 million.
The stock was rising 6% to $29.30 in premarket trading Wednesday.
AMD said it expects second-quarter revenue of between $1.48 billion to $1.57 billion compared with analysts' estimates of $1.52 billion.
"We delivered solid first-quarter results with significant gross margin expansion as Ryzen and EPYC processor and datacenter GPU revenue more than doubled year over year," said CEO Lisa Su. "We look forward to the upcoming launches of our next-generation 7nm PC, gaming and datacenter products which we expect to drive further market share gains and financial growth."
4. -- CVS Health, Qualcomm, Square and Fitbit to Report Earnings
Earnings reports are expected Wednesday from CVS Health (CVS - Get Report) , Qualcomm (QCOM - Get Report) , Square (SQ - Get Report) , Fitbit (FIT - Get Report) , AMC Networks (AMCX - Get Report) , Allstate (ALL - Get Report) , Molson Coors Brewing (TAP - Get Report) , Yum! Brands (YUM - Get Report) , Clorox (CLX - Get Report) , Estee Lauder (EL - Get Report) and Humana (HUM - Get Report) .
5. -- Wynn Resorts Is Fined $35 Million but Can Keep Massachusetts License
Wynn Resorts (WYNN - Get Report) was handed a $35 million fine from gambling regulators in Massachusetts but the casino company was allowed to keep its state casino license and open its Boston-area resort as planned after executives failed to disclose years of allegations of sexual misconduct against company founder Steve Wynn.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission also fined CEO Matthew Maddox $500,000 for his "clear failure" to investigate at least one misconduct complaint and required the company, which also owns properties in Las Vegas and Macau, to be subject to review by an independent firm selected by the state, according to the Associated Press.
Wynn shares rose 2.8% in premarket trading Wednesday to $148.50.