Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Thursday

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Top 5 Things to Know in the Market on Thursday
Credit: © Reuters. - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, April 26:

1. Amazon, Microsoft, Intel Earnings In Focus

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) results due out after the market close will be today's main event, as a busy week for earnings rolls along.

Investors will be looking for updates on Amazon's agreements with the United States Postal Service after President Donald Trump in recent weeks has taken aim at the company, saying the USPS’ agreements with Amazon are “not a level playing field.”

Analysts are also likely to ask about the company's integration with Whole Foods, which it bought in the summer of 2017 for $14 billion, the biggest acquisition in Amazon’s history.

Besides Amazon, 40 other members of the S&P 500 are also set to report results on Thursday.

Before the market open, General Motors (NYSE: GM ), UPS (NYSE: UPS ), Raytheon (NYSE: RTN ), PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP ), Time Warner (NYSE: TWX ) American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL ) and Domino's Pizza (OTC: DMZPY ) will be the highlights.

After the close, joining Amazon, will be tech giants Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ), Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ), Expedia (NASDAQ: EXPE ), Western Digital (NASDAQ: WDC ), as well as Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX ) and Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU ).

Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ) earnings will also be in focus, after its stock jumped around 6% in after-hours trading following its earnings release.

The social media company reported a surprisingly strong 63% rise in profits and an increase in users, with no sign that business was hurt by a scandal over the mishandling of personal data.

2. U.S. Stock Futures Point To Encouraging Open

U.S. stock futures pointed to an encouraging open, as investors looked ahead to the latest deluge of corporate earnings.

The blue-chip Dow futures rose 35 points, or about 0.1%, the S&P 500 futures tacked on 4 points, or nearly 0.15%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures added 34 points, or roughly 0.5%.

The Dow closed higher for the first time in six sessions on Wednesday, recovering from sharp losses seen earlier in the day, as Boeing (NYSE: BA ) soared on strong earnings.

Elsewhere, in Europe, the continent's major bourses were mixed, as earnings disappointments weighed heavily on some stocks including Germany's Deutsche Bank (DE: DBKGn ).

Earlier, in Asia, markets in the region closed mostly higher, with tech shares buoyed by news of a record quarterly profit from Samsung Electronics (KS: 005930 ).

3. Dollar, Yields Remain Supported Ahead Of Fresh Batch Of Data

The dollar traded near a three-and-a-half-month high against a basket of currencies and U.S. Treasury yields remained elevated close to their recent peaks, as investors looked ahead of a fresh batch of U.S. economic data.

The U.S. dollar index , which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was a shade lower at 90.95, after touching an overnight high of 91.11, the most since January 12.

The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield stood at 3.005%, staying above the 3%-threshold, but pulling back from a four-year peak of 3.035% scaled on Wednesday.

On the data front, investors will be watching a few economic reports, including weekly jobless claims , trade figures for March, as well as March data on durable goods orders , all due at 8:30AM ET (1230GMT).

The recent bounce in the dollar and yields came as strengthening inflation prospects added to expectations of a more hawkish approach from the Federal Reserve this year.

4. European Central Bank Policy Meeting

The European Central Bank is widely expected to keep policy unchanged at the conclusion of today's policy meeting, while leaving the door open to ending its €2.5 trillion stimulus program by the end of the year.

President Mario Draghi will hold a closely-watched press conference after the rate announcement at which he is expected to deliver remarks on the current economic state of the euro zone.

Other topics that Draghi may touch upon include recent softness in euro zone economic data, weakness in underlying inflation, recent volatility in the bond market as well as brewing concerns of an escalation in global trade disputes.

The central bank's rate decision is scheduled for 1145GMT (7:45AM ET), followed by the press conference due to begin at 1230GMT (8:30AM ET).

The euro was 0.2% higher against the dollar at 1.2185, bouncing back after setting a near two-month low of 1.2157 earlier in the session.

5. Oil Continues Higher With Trump/Iran Standoff In Focus

Crude prices continued higher, staying within sight of their highest levels in more than three years, bolstered by expectations that the U.S. will reinstate sanctions against Iran, a major oil producer.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that he expected U.S. President Donald Trump to pull out of a deal with Iran reached in 2015, in which Iran suspended its nuclear program in return for western powers lifting crippling sanctions.

The Trump administration has until May 12 to decide whether to restore sanctions on Tehran, which would likely result in a reduction of its oil exports.

New York-traded WTI crude futures rose 39 cents, or about 0.6%, to $68.44 per barrel, while Brent futures gained 55 cents, or roughly 0.7%, to $74.55 per barrel.

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