April 20, 2018 / 11:37 AM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Futures inch higher after strong GE, Honeywell results

* Futures up: Dow 2 pts, S&P 3.25 pts, Nasdaq 3 pts

By Sruthi Shankar

April 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures nudged higher on Friday following strong earnings from industrial heavyweights General Electric and Honeywell.

GE shares rose more than 5 percent in premarket trading after its quarterly profit from continuing operations more than tripled, helped by strength in its aviation and healthcare businesses.

Honeywell International reported a higher-than-expected profit for the first quarter and lifted its full-year earnings forecast, citing higher sales in its aerospace business. Its shares rose 2.8 percent.

At 7:18 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 2 points, or 0.01 percent, S&P 500 e-minis rose 3.25 points, or 0.12 percent, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis gained 3 points, or 0.04 percent.

The indexes are on track for their second week of gains in a row as earnings reports so far have been largely upbeat and concerns around Syria and trade tensions with China eased.

Of the 73 companies among the S&P 500 that have reported first-quarter earnings through Thursday, 76.7 percent topped profit expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data.

A slide in Apple and chip stocks after the world’s largest contract chipmaker, Taiwan Semiconductor, flagged softer demand for smartphones as well as disappointing results from Philip Morris and Procter & Gamble gave a blow to Wall Street’s three major indexes on Thursday.

Apple fell another 0.4 percent in premarket trading.

Skechers USA shares tumbled more than 23 percent after the footwear maker’s quarterly profit forecast missed analysts’ estimates.

Twitter shares rose about 3 percent after Citigroup pushed up the stock’s ranking to eight from 15 among U.S. internet stocks, while MKM Partners raised rating on the stock to “buy”. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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