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Nasdaq Leads As Futures Bounce; Cisco, Wal-Mart Power The Dow | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Global markets were generally positive and U.S. stock futures trekked higher early Thursday, as House Republican leaders in Washington readied their version of a closely-watched tax reform bill for a vote before the end of the day.

XAutoplay: On | OffFutures for the Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 marched ahead 0.4% as Cisco Systems (CSCO) and Wal-Mart (WMT) surged on their quarterly reports. Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 0.5%, aided by Cisco and a big jump from NetApp (NTAP).

Small caps ran near the head of the action, with Russell 2000 futures rising 0.5%.

The U.S. House of Representatives is largely expected to pass its tax reform package in a vote today, while the Senate Finance Committee is working to present its own offering this week, aiming for a full-Senate vote after the Thanksgiving holiday. The two different proposals must then be reconciled into a single piece of legislation.

Also watching were global markets, which showed some hot spots, particularly Japan, where Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 rebounded 1.5% to end a six-day slide. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index added 0.6%, capping two days of losses, although the Shanghai Composite dipped 0.1%. India’s Sensex benchmark on the Bombay Stock Exchange rallied 1.1%.

In Europe, Frankfurt’s DAX and the CAC-40 in Paris were ahead 0.4% and 0.6%, respectively, as London’s FTSE 100 struggled to remain in positive territory near midday.

Cisco, NetApp Charge Tech Rally; Wal-Mart, RH Lift Retailers

Earnings news drove the Dow’s early action, with Cisco Systems throttling up 8% on fiscal first-quarter earnings that met or narrowly topped analysts’ targets, the networking gear maker’sfirst rise in revenue in eight quarters, and a Q2 earnings forecast that was just above expectations.

Cisco shares have been attempting to clear a 34.20 buy point in a cup-with-handle base.

Wal-Mart racked up a 4% premarket advance, looking to take back ground lost in a 1% slip on Wednesday. The retail giant reported above-forecast third-quarter sales and profit growth, with comparable sales and traffic also better-than-expected, and suggesting Q4 earnings guidance that topped consensus views.

The stock ended Wednesday extended, after clearing a flat base in mid-October.

Another retailer, RH (RH), the old Restoration Hardware, soared 19%. The Corte Madera, Calif.-based company significantly boosted earnings guidance for its upcoming third-quarter report. It also hoisted revenue guidance above consensus views.

RH shares have climbed 243% since February, and are extended after clearing a buy point in early October.

Data storage gear maker NetApp swept up 12% to easily lead the Nasdaq 100 list. BMO Capital raised the stock to outperform, from market perform early Thursday, after NetApp’s fiscal Q2 report late Wednesday easily surpassed expectations. Management boosted its third-quarter earnings guidance above consensus forecasts, and lifted revenue guidance to the high-end of the expected range.

NetApp ended Wednesday is a buy range above a 45.24 buy point in a first-stage cup-with-handle base.

Jobless Claims, Philly Fed On Deck

Thursday’s economic news begins with weekly jobless claims and October import/export price data at 8:30 a.m. ET from the Labor Department. Also at 8:30 a.m.ET, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve reports its Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey.

At 9:15 a.m. ET, the Federal Reserve delivers industrial capacity and utilization numbers for October.

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