Off The Wire
US STOCKS-Futures edge higher ahead of bumper earnings week
By Amy Caren Daniel
July 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose slightly on Monday as investors geared up for a busy week of corporate earnings, with results from major companies including Facebook and Amazon on tap.
Second-quarter earnings started off on a dour note last week as major banks reported results, which raised concerns about their profit growth in a low interest rate environment.
The main indexes ended the week lower for the first time in three weeks as hopes of a steep 50 basis points rate cut at the Federal Reserve's policy-setting meeting on July 30-31 were scaled down following a Wall Street Journal report.
As the earnings season progresses, profits at S&P 500 companies are now estimated to rise 1%, according to Refinitiv IBES data, in a reversal from earlier expectations of a small drop.
Investors will parse through company results to gauge the impact that the trade war has had on corporate profits, to see whether corporate results are poor enough to persuade the Fed to take strong action this year.
Hopes of an interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve helped spur a rally in stocks this year that has helped Wall Street's main indexes scale new record highs.
Marquee technology companies Facebook Inc , Amazon.com Inc and Google-parent Alphabet Inc were up between 0.3% and 0.6% in premarket trade, and are set to report results on Wednesday and Thursday.
At 6:44 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 62 points, or 0.23%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 8.5 points, or 0.29% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 36.25 points, or 0.46%.
Chipmaker Micron Technology Inc rose nearly 4%, while Applied Materials Inc and Advanced Micro Devices Inc gained 2.9% and 1% respectively.
The stocks likely got a boost from news that the White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow will host a meeting with semiconductor and software executives on Monday to discuss the U.S. ban on sales to China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. Micron's shares were also lifted by a report that Goldman Sachs upgraded its shares to "buy" from "neutral".
Among other stocks, Walt Disney Co rose 1% after its remake of "The Lion King" movie collected $185 million over the weekend and as Marvel Studios superhero movie "Avengers: Endgame" set an all-time box office record.
(Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)
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