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Nasdaq Futures Lead, Caterpillar Lifts Dow; 2 Chip Names Eye Breakouts | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stock futures plotted out a strong advance early Thursday, as earnings news took over as the driving force in premarket trade.

XDow industrials and S&P 500 futures rolled 0.3% above fair value, with Caterpillar (CAT) and Varian Medical (VAR) all posted powerful moves after their quarterly reports.

Nasdaq 100 futures showed a 0.4% gain, as Lam Research (LRCX), Xilinx (XLNX) and Biogen (BIIB) all rose on their quarterly performances.

Smallcaps ran ahead of the early action, lifting Russell 2000 futures 0.6%.

The dollar was paused, trading flat against the euro and marginally lower vs. the yen, after a four-day slide left it at a three-year low Wednesday, asserting a strong influence on the day’s stock market action. Commodities moved moderately higher, with crude oil among the fastest movers as West Texas Intermediate rose 0.8% to clear $66 a barrel.

Caterpillar Climbs; Xilinx, Lam Research Poised for Breakouts

Caterpillar rumbled nearly 3% higher to lead the Dow, as its fourth-quarter results showed earnings comfortably above expectations. The Peoria, Ill.-based manufacturer reported Wednesday its overall sales growth accelerated to a 34% gain during the quarter, a six-year high. The stock is looking to add a tenth straight week to its recent run up, ending Wednesday up 70% from a breakout in April.

Apple (AAPL) rose 0.4% and, among the FANG stock tech leaders, Netflix (NFLX) again set out an early lead, up 1.2%.

IBD 50 stock Lam Research powered up more than 4%, after trouncing analysts’ earnings targets with a 94% jump in earnings in its fiscal second quarter. Revenue also topped expectations, and the chip equipment maker lifted its Q3 earnings guidance far above consensus estimates.

Lam shares ended Wednesday’s session less than 5% below a 219.80 buy point in a late-stage cup base.

Xilinx rose more than 2% following its fiscal Q3 report in which both earnings and revenue easily cleared analysts’ targets. The chip developer’s shares ended Wednesday just below a cup base buy point at 75.24.

Biogen climbed more than 3%. The Cambridge, Mass.-based biotech delivered mixed fourth-quarter results, but its full-year guidance was well above consensus estimates. The stock remained in a buy range above a 335.90 buy point in a first stage base.

Tal Education (TAL) spiked nearly 10% ahead of the open. The China-based chain of test preparation and tutoring centers scored a strong fiscal third-quarter performance, although fourth-quarter revenue guidance was below consensus views. But an 85% surge in student enrollments lifted its total student base to above 1.5 million.

Tal’s stock has been fighting to retain support at its 10-week moving average, nearly 30% below a 36.26 buy point in a very late stage base.

Global Stock Markets: Asia Slips, Europe Steady

Asia’s markets came under pressure, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index ending down 0.9%, ending a seven-day advance – only the index’s second decline in the past 23 sessions. In Japan, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 dumped 1.1% as export stocks continued reacting to the week’s action in currencies.

In Europe. markets were generally positive. Paris’ CAC-40 led with a 0.4% gain near midday, while benchmarks in London and Frankfurt defended fractional gains.

Other Important Early News For Thursday:

The Big Picture: What The Market’s Wild Day Told Us

Intel, Starbucks, Biotechs Lead Earnings Rush: Investing Action Plan

Why Now May Be The Best Time For Investors To Look At Gold

Biogen Earnings Miss, But Sales Top, Revenue Guidance Bullish

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