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Small Caps Rally, Dow, Nasdaq 100 Futures Surge; Facebook Rises | Stock News & Stock Market Analysis

Stock futures pounded out strong early gains Wednesday as Facebook (FB) climbed ahead of its after hours report and investors looked toward the Federal Reserve’s policy announcement this afternoon.

XAutoplay: On | OffFutures for the Nasdaq 100 and the Dow Jones industrial average sped 0.6% higher, while S&P 500 futures climbed 0.4%. Small caps were on an early tear, lifting Russell 200 futures 0.8%.

Early Risers: Intel, Facebook, U.S. Steel; American Air Gets Upgrade

Among Dow stocks, Intel (INTC), Exxon-Mobil (XOM) and Microsoft (MSFT) were the early leaders. Intel is extended, up 18% since clearing a 38.55 flat base buy point in early October.

Apple (AAPL) edged up 0.5% moving closer to its earnings release, scheduled after Thursday’s close. Apple supplier Lumentum (LITE) traded fractionally lower ahead of its pre-open earnings release.

Facebook led the FANG stocks, up 1.3% as investors gear for the company’s third-quarter report after today’s close. Facebook shares are tracking toward a sixth straight weekly gain, working their way up through a buy range above a flat base buy point of 175.59.

United States Steel (X) rolled 10% higher ahead of the open. The Pittsburgh, Pa.-based steelmaker reported an above-estimate 130% jump in Q3 EPS and 21% surge in revenue after Tuesday’s close. Shares have climbed 36% from a May low, trying to clear resistance at their 10-week line as they climb the right side of a nine-month cup base.

American Airlines Group (AAL) popped more than 2% after an upgrade to overweight, from neutral, from JP Morgan. The note also downgraded JetBlue (BLUE) and Alaska Air Group (ALK) to neutral, and Spirit Air (SAVE) to underweight.

Additive printing leader 3D Systems (DDD) carved 18% lower in premarket trade. A much worse-than-expected decline in third quarter earnings and an unexpected slip in revenue led management to withdraw its full-year guidance following the report. Shares on Tuesday were down 46% since May.

Check Point Software (CHKP) stumbled 10%, the worst early loss among Nasdaq 100 names, despite reporting solid third-quarter beats on its revenue and earnings lines late Tuesday. Management’s fourth-quarter revenue guidance stopped short of consensus expectations, primarily due to a restructuring in the Israel-based company’s U.S. sales force.

Premarket trade indicated Check Point would open sharply below its 10-week moving average and trigger a sell signal. Premarket moves do not always carry through into regular trade.

Coming Up: Fed Decision, ADP Report, Manufacturing PMIs

In economic news, the policy announcement wrapping up the Federal Open Market Committee’s two-day meeting is due out at 2 p.m. ET.  The Fed is also receiving additional attention this week as President Trump prepares to nominate a new Fed chief — with the decision reportedly slated for sometime Thursday. Wall St. is currently betting on Fed Governor Jerome Powell, though Stanford economist John Taylor is seen as a serious contender.

ADP releases its National Employment Report at 8:15 a.m. ET, Markit reports its manufacturing purchasing managers index for October at 9:45 a.m. ET. At 10 a.m., the Institute For Supply Management’s October manufacturing index is due out, along with the Commerce Department’s Construction spending data. At 10:30 a.m. ET, the Energy Information Administration releases its weekly oil inventories report.

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