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Stocks - U.S. Futures Inch Up on Chinese Growth Surprise

Investing.com - U.S. futures were up slightly on Wednesday after a modest upside surprise on Chinese economic growth helped lift sentiment.

China posted better-than-expected gross domestic product growth of 6.4% in the first quarter, easing concerns that the second-largest economy in the world is slowing. Strong industrial production and retail sales figures for March suggested that momentum had improved at the end of the quarter, but with Washington and Beijing yet to reach a trade deal, the upbeat mood could prove short-lived.

Dow futures rose 29 points or 0.1% by 6:40 AM ET (10:40 GMT), while S&P 500 futures gained 5 points or 0.2% and tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures was up 21 points or 0.3%.

Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) was among the biggest gainers in premarket trading, rising nearly 6% after it unexpectedly settled its long-running dispute with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL). The semiconductor company closed 23% higher on Tuesday, after Apple agreed to use its modem chips in its iPhone models. Meanwhile Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) gained 3.8% after it announced it would not pursue a 5G smartphone modem product, removing the threat of heavy related investment costs.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) slipped 1.2% after its forecast for second-quarter earnings missed estimates, while IBM (NYSE:IBM) fell 3.6% after a steep decline in revenue. Sprint (NYSE:S) slumped 5.2% after The Wall Street Journal reported that the Department of Justice was unlikely to approve its merger with T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) due to antitrust concerns.

Jd.Com (NASDAQ:JD) was also down 1.7% after its CEO Liu Qiangdong was sued by a college student in a civil lawsuit, alleging that he raped her last year. Prosecutors declined to charge Qiangdong after he was arrested over the allegations in August.

On the earnings front, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), US Bancorp (NYSE:USB), PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) are expected to report before the bell.

In commodities, gold futures inched up 0.1% to $1,278.95 a troy ounce after falling heavily in recent sessions amid the return of risk appetite, while crude oil jumped 0.7% to $64.48 a barrel. The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, fell 0.1% to 96.542.

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