China data boosts Wall Street futures to new record highs

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures hit new all-time highs on Friday, with investor optimism bolstered by an upbeat set of U.S. corporate earnings reports and indications of resilience in the Chinese economy.

Spurring inflows in global stock markets for a fifth day, data showed the world's second-largest economy ended 2019 on a somewhat firmer note, even as economic growth cooled to its weakest in nearly 30 years in the last year.

Optimism over a Phase 1 U.S.-China trade deal signed on Wednesday and along with more recent data have raised hopes that the economy may be bottoming out.

That was set to keep investor spirits intact after a day of many milestones on Wall Street - the S&P 500 crossing the 3,300 mark for the first time and Google-parent Alphabet Inc <GOOGL.O> becoming the fourth U.S. company to top a market value of over $1 trillion.

Alphabet's shares were up 0.6% in premarket trading.

In earnings-related news, oilfield service provider Schlumberger NV <SLB.N> gained 2.8% after reporting a slightly better-than-expected quarterly profit.

At 7:28 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis <1YMcv1> were up 70 points, or 0.24%. S&P 500 e-minis <EScv1> were up 7.25 points, or 0.22% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis <NQcv1> were up 33 points, or 0.36%.

After retail sales data for December assuaged concerns about the health of the U.S. consumer on Wednesday, investors are awaiting another batch of data including housing starts number, industrial production and University of Michigan's consumer sentiment index, all set to be released later in the day.

Gap Inc <GPS.N> gained 6.4% after it scrapped its plan to spin-off Old Navy and said it would instead work to stem dropping sales.

Qualcomm Inc <QCOM.O> shares rose 1.4% after Citigroup upgraded the stock to "buy" from "neutral".

International Business Machines Corp <IBM.N> dropped 1% after Morgan Stanley downgraded the stock to "equal weight", saying information technology budgets are under pressure in 2020 and that are set to hit the hardware sector the most.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

01/17/2020 13:03

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