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Apple, Facebook Drive Nasdaq Futures Higher as Earnings Roll In

By Shivani Kumaresan

Apple Inc gained 2.7% in premarket trading after posting sales and profits ahead of Wall Street estimates, led by much stronger-than-expected iPhone and Mac sales.

Facebook Inc jumped 7.3% on beating analysts’ expectations for both quarterly revenue and profit, helped by a surge in digital ad spending during the pandemic, along with higher ad prices.

Other megacap companies, including Microsoft Corp, Alphabet Inc and Netflix Inc, rose between 0.2% and 1.1%.

Official data is likely to show that the number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose last week, while the Commerce Department is expected to report a 6.1% rise in first-quarter GDP.

More earnings reports from Dow components rolled in, with Caterpillar Inc rising 2.8% after the heavy equipment maker reported a rise in adjusted first-quarter profit. Drugmaker Merck & Co Inc, however, slid 3.2% on posting a 1.2% fall in quarterly profit.

Global shares extended gains after the Federal Reserve said it was too early to consider rolling back emergency support for the economy, and U.S. President Joe Biden proposed a $1.8 trillion stimulus package.

At the conclusion of the U.S. central bank’s latest policy meeting on Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged the economy’s growth, but said there was not yet enough evidence of “substantial further progress” toward recovery to warrant a change in policy.

At 6:44 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 177 points, or 0.52%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 30.25 points, or 0.72%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 138.75 points, or 1%.

Shares of electric vehicles companies, including Tesla Inc, Nikola Corp, rose 1.1% and 2.6%, respectively, as sales picked up speed in the first quarter, according to the International Energy Agency.

Amazon.com Inc, Twitter Inc, Mastercard Inc and Gilead Sciences Inc are also expected to report first-quarter earnings later in the day.

(Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)