July 24, 2018 / 1:14 PM / 4 months ago

US STOCKS-Nasdaq set to hit record high as Alphabet lifts techs

* Alphabet jumps on strong Q2, lifts other techs

* Verizon jumps on robust quarterly results

* Lockheed up after results; 3M, UTX drop

* S&P futures at their highest since Feb. 2

* Futures up: Dow 0.47 pct, S&P 0.36 pct, Nasdaq 0.36 pct (Adds comment, details; updates prices)

By Amy Caren Daniel

July 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday and the Nasdaq looked poised to strike a fresh record high after Google’s parent Alphabet shattered profit expectations and powered a rally among high-growth technology companies.

Nasdaq emini futures were already trading in record territory and their S&P 500 counterparts were at their highest since early February as a robust earnings season helped investors shake off concerns over a U.S.-China trade war and a strengthening dollar.

Shares of Alphabet, part of the so-called FAANG group, jumped 4.3 percent in premarket trading and were set to scale a record high after the online search giant’s quarterly results trounced Wall Street targets.

Other FAANG stocks also rose. Facebook climbed 2.2 percent, while Amazon rose 1.4 percent.

Tech stocks have led the recovery from the early 2018 tumult that dragged U.S. stocks into a correction and have helped erase nearly all of the wider market’s losses. Nasdaq has struck repeated record highs this summer, and the S&P 500 emini futures on Tuesday were trading within 2 percent of their late-January record.

Verizon rose 2.4 percent after posting better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue as the wireless carrier attracted more subscribers with unlimited data plans.

Lockheed Martin jumped 2.7 percent and Biogen surged 7.1 percent after both companies topped quarterly profit expectations and raised their forecasts for the rest of the year.

The strong reports helped soothe nerves over the possible impact of a China-U.S. trade war and a strengthening dollar on corporate results. Analysts’ forecasts for second-quarter profit growth are now at 22 percent, up from 20.7 percent at the start of the month, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“It’s earnings that’s going to propel markets today,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

“We are seeing a host of companies that have reported and some of them have given a good guidance, so it’s a good combination.”

At 8:46 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 118 points, or 0.47 percent, S&P 500 e-minis were up 10.25 points, or 0.36 percent, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 26.5 points, or 0.36 percent.

However, not all reports were upbeat.

Whirlpool tumbled 9.5 percent, after reporting weak quarterly results and cutting full-year forecasts, blaming lower volumes and higher raw material costs, especially in EMEA.

Shares of United Technologies dipped 0.8 percent, while 3M dropped 2.2 percent, despite both industrial companies beating quarterly profit expectations. Their shares initially rose after the results were issued.

Harley-Davidson, at the center of the brewing trade war between the United States and the European Union, rose 3.1 percent after its profit beat estimates, although it warned new EU tariffs would squeeze margins.

Eli Lilly jumped 3.4 percent after the company said it would take its animal health unit public and posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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