Upbeat earnings lift futures ahead of retail sales data

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Friday, lifted by a handful of positive earnings reports, while investors kept a close watch on retail sales data and assessed the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak. Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) jumped 6.4% in premarket trading as it forecast first-quarter revenue that topped analysts’ expectations, reinforcing expectations of a rebound in chip demand. Shares of rival Intel Corp (INTC.O) rose 0.6%, while Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD.O) gained 1.6%. Wall Street is on course for a second straight weekly rise after hitting a series of record highs as a largely positive fourth-quarter earnings season and confidence in the U.S. economy helped investors look past conflicting headlines on the virus. A recent Reuters poll showed the virus-hit Chinese economy will grow at its slowest rate since the financial crisis in the current quarter but the downturn will be short-lived if the outbreak is contained. Chinese health authorities reported more than 5,000 new cases on Friday, suggesting that the epidemic was showing no signs of easing. At 7:26 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis 1YMcv1 were up 29 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 e-minis EScv1 were up 6 points, or 0.18% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQcv1 were up 31 points, or 0.32%. Among stocks, Expedia Inc (EXPE.O) rose 11.8% as analysts were impressed by the online travel services company’s strong core quarterly earnings forecast in the face of the coronavirus uncertainty. EBay Inc (EBAY.O) advanced 2.2% as the ecommerce company added $3 billion to its 2020 share buyback plan and forecast current-quarter profit above analysts’ expectations. Markets participants will focus on the retail sales data for January, due at 8:30 a.m. ET, and industrial production report scheduled for release at 9:15 a.m.

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