By Peter Nurse
The major equity indices closed higher Thursday and are now on course to close the week higher, the fourth positive week in five, even given Monday’s sharp sell-off. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite led the way Thursday, and is likely to dominate again Friday.
Twitter stock soared over 5% premarket after the social media platform reported higher than expected revenue growth in the second quarter, helped by ad targeting improvements to help brands reach potential customers.
Snap stock posted even greater gains after the owner of the messaging app Snapchat beat estimates for users and revenue in the second quarter, notching the highest growth rates since late 2017.
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) could prove the exception, with the chipmaker’s stock seen lower premarket after it offered up a disappointing forecast for the ongoing financial year that hinted at ongoing loss of market share in its key data center business.
Major technology companies including Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ), Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ), Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ), Facebook (NASDAQ: FB ) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) are set to report second-quarter earnings next week. Ahead of this, reports from the likes of American Express (NYSE: AXP ), Honeywell (NASDAQ: HON ) and Kimberly Clark (NYSE: KMB ) will be in the spotlight Friday.
In economic news, U.S. manufacturing and services PMI survey data for July are expected to show a continued recovery. The equivalent data showed Eurozone business activity expanded at its fastest monthly pace in over two decades in July.
Elsewhere, oil prices edged lower Friday, stabilizing after a volatile trading week. The crude market has posted gains of around 8% over the last three days, largely recouping Monday’s slump, when sentiment was hit by worries over rising Covid cases and an agreement between top producers to add supply.
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