US STOCKS-Wall St set to open higher on megacap tech boost, strong earnings

Reuters

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    * Social media stocks rally after strong results 
    * AmEx eyes record open on blowout Q2 profit
    * Futures up: Dow 0.52%, S&P 0.46%, Nasdaq 0.37%

 (Adds comments, details; updates prices)
    By Devik Jain and Shreyashi Sanyal
    July 23 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes were set to
open higher on Friday, helped by megacap technology stocks and
strong earnings from social media companies Twitter and Snap,
with investors eyeing business activity data later in the day.
    Twitter Inc  TWTR.N  gained 4.9% in premarket trading after
it reported upbeat revenue growth, as the social media platform
rolled out ad-targeting improvements to help brands reach
potential customers.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2OY2G2
    Snapchat-owner Snap Inc  SNAP.N  jumped 17.2% after it beat
Wall Street estimates for users and revenue in the second
quarter, notching the highest growth rates since late-2017.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2OY2H1
    Strong results from the social media firms set a positive
precedent for Facebook Inc  FB.O , which rose 2.9% ahead of its
second-quarter results next week.
    Other major tech names, including Amazon.com  AMZN.O , Apple
Inc  AAPL.O , Microsoft Corp  MSFT.O  and Google-owner Alphabet
Inc  GOOGL.O , were up between 0.3% and 1.7%.
    American Express Co  AXP.N  gained 3.6% and was set to open
at a record high as the credit card issuer beat estimates for
second-quarter profit.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2OZ1PV
    "Earnings are expected to be much better for the value side
than for growth, but with interest rates being as low as they
are, investors will be sticking to growth because that way the
near-term momentum is on their side," said Sam Stovall, chief
investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York.
    The second-quarter reporting season barreled ahead, with 104
companies in the S&P 500 having reported so far. Of those, 88.5%
have beaten consensus estimates, the highest since 1994,
according to Refinitiv data.
    Wall Street investors have shifted between growth stocks and
economically sensitive value names this week, after concerns
about the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant roiled markets
and sparked a flight to the perceived safety of bond markets on
Monday.
    The S&P 500 consumer discretionary  .SPLRCD  and technology
 .SPLRCT  sectors were top gainers this week.
    The major indexes were set for their fourth weekly gain in
five weeks on boost from a batch of strong earnings reports,
while the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  and the
benchmark S&P 500 index  .SPX  inched closer to their record
highs hit last week.
    Focus will also be on IHS Markit's flash reading on
manufacturing and services sectors for July, due at 09:45 a.m.
ET.
    The Federal Reserve's policy meeting next week will be
closely watched for further hints about tapering amid a spike in
COVI-19 cases, though Chair Jerome Powell has repeatedly said
the labor market remains well short of its target.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2OW0XI
    At 8:34 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis  1YMcv1  were up 181 points, or
0.52% and S&P 500 e-minis  EScv1  were up 20.25 points, or
0.46%.
    Nasdaq 100 e-minis  NQcv1  were up 55.25 points, or 0.37%,
hitting a record high and breaching 15,000 points for the first
time. 
    Intel Corp  INTC.O  fell 2.5% after the chipmaker said it
still faces supply chain constraints and gave an annual sales
forecast that implied a weak end to the year.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2OY37J
    Schlumberger NV  SLB.N  added 2% after it reported a rise in
its second-quarter profit as oilfield activity rebounded.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2OZ1OY

 (Reporting by Devik Jain and Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru;
editing by Uttaresh.V and Maju Samuel)
 ((Devik.Jain@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780;
outside U.S. +91 80 6182 2062; ;))

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