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Market Snapshot: U.S. stock futures rise on relief over Facebook parent’s subscriber numbers; GDP disappoints

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a stronger start on Thursday, boosted by results from Facebook parent Meta Platforms that weren’t as bad as anticipated as investors largely brushed off data showing a contraction in first-quarter gross domestic product.

What’s happening

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 240 points, or 0.7%, to 33,466.

S&P 500 futures

gained 53.75 points, or 1.3%, to 4,234.

Nasdaq-100 futures

increased 217.50 points, or 1.7%, to 13,226..

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average

rose 62 points, or 0.2%, while the S&P 500

gained 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite

failed to hold a bounce, ending the day with a loss of less than 0.1%.

What’s driving markets

The results from Meta Platforms

weren’t well ahead of consensus, as revenue actually came in weaker than forecast, but expectations were low given the 48% decline this year in the stock. In premarket trade, Meta shares stormed 17% higher.

Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said the Meta results weren’t great, but weren’t horrible either.

Meta’s better-than-forecast subscriber numbers sets the stage for two other megacap tech stock results due after the close Thursday,

and Apple
Though the stock-market decline for Amazon hasn’t been as severe as Meta’s, its stock is just 2% above its 52-week intraday low.

In U.S. data Thursday investors were also weighing a first look at first-quarter economic growth, with gross domestic product showing a 1.4% annualized contraction after a 6.9% expansion in the final quarter of 2021. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast 1% growth, but some had warned of the potential for a negative number.

As economists had warned, the decline was mostly due to a record international trade deficit, lower government spending and declining inventories but robust consumer spending and businesses investment signaled the economy was still expanding at a steady pace.

The yen

meanwhile slumped to a fresh 20-decade low after the Bank of Japan didn’t alter its easy monetary policy stance.

See: Dollar domination continues, as yen slumps to two-decade low

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