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Strong earnings momentum could drive Wall Street higher

BY THE NUMBERS

The S&P 500 could be back to an all-time high soon, possibly today. Ahead of the final trading day of April, the S&P and the Dow were less than 1 percent from records, as Dow stocks Exxon Mobil (XOM) and Chevron (CVX) report earnings this morning. General Motors (GM) reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue. (CNBC)

Investors get the first reading of first quarter GDP at 8:30 a.m. ET. Growth is expected to be below 1 percent. The employment cost index is also out at 8:30 a.m. ET, with Chicago PMI for April at 9:45 a.m. ET and final April consumer sentiment at 10 a.m. ET. (CNBC)

U.S. stock futures were mixed this morning, even as after-the-bell earnings from Alphabet (GOOGL) and Amazon (AMZN) sent those stocks surging in the premarket. The Nasdaq closed at another new high on Thursday. (CNBC)

Amazon reported first-quarter sales and earnings that topped estimates, as the company's e-commerce and cloud-computing businesses continued to take share from rivals. (CNBC)

Google-parent Alphabet managed to buck backlash over its ad platform in the first quarter, reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue. Hardware and cloud also grew substantially. (CNBC)

Microsoft's cloud business is growing almost twice as fast as Amazon's, with Google far behind. However, Microsoft blamed Surface sales for its revenue miss. Earnings beat expectations. (CNBC)

Intel (INTC) reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue due to an unexpected slowdown in growth in its data center business. The chipmaker, however, did beat estimates on earnings. (CNBC)

Qualcomm cut its Q3 fiscal guidance today, noting that Apple has informed the company that it will withhold future royalty payments "until its dispute with Qualcomm is resolved." (CNBC)

Starbucks (SBUX) reported earnings that matched expectations but revenue and same-store sales that missed forecasts. Kevin Johnson became CEO earlier this month, taking over from longtime chief executive Howard Schultz. (CNBC)

Oil prices were higher this morning after falling as much as 2 percent on Thursday. according to one trader who closely follows the charts, there could be even more pain to come. (CNBC Trading Nation)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

The growing threat of nuclear North Korea will be the focus today as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson chairs a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council. (NBC News)

There is a danger the situation on the Korean peninsula could escalate or slip out of control, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a senior Russian diplomat on the sidelines of a meeting at the United Nations. (Reuters)

President Donald Trump said a "major, major" conflict with North Korea is possible in the standoff over its nuclear and missile programs, but he would prefer a diplomatic outcome to the dispute. (Reuters)

Meanwhile, Trump also said he'll either renegotiate or terminate a "horrible" trade deal with South Korea. Trump also said he wants South Korea to pay for the $1 billion THAAD missile defense system. (Reuters)

President Trump today will instruct his cabinet officials to take actions that will potentially open new areas of federally administered waters to energy development. (CNBC)

Trump will say thank you to the National Rifle Association today, becoming the first sitting president since Ronald Reagan to address the group's annual convention in Atlanta. (NY Times)

With the government's funding set to expire early tomorrow, GOP leaders prepared a weeklong stopgap measure to give lawmakers more time to settle on a bill to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. (WSJ)

An 11th-hour White House push to give Trump a major legislative victory in his first 100 days in office broke down as House Republican leaders failed to round up enough votes for their bill to repeal Obamacare. (NY Times)

Ahead of his 100th day in office tomorrow, Trump's Cabinet is finally complete, with the confirmation of Alex Acosta as Labor secretary. There remains one Cabinet-level nominee to confirm, Robert Lighthizer for U.S. Trade Representative. (Politico)

As he reflected on his first 100 days, Trump said he thought being president would be easier than his old life as a real estate businessman. "This is more work than in my previous life," he said in an interview. (Reuters)

Activist hedge fund manager Dan Loeb told investors he doesn't plan on missing out on the final portion of the eight-year bull market and economic expansion, which has been given new life by the euphoria surrounding Trump's election. (CNBC)

Loeb's Third Point, disclosing a 1.4 million share stake in Honeywell (HON), wants the company to spin off its aerospace division, saying the move would create more than $20 billion in shareholder value. (WSJ)

Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Chuxing, which bought Uber's China business last year and is backed by Apple (AAPL), has closed a $5.5 billion funding round, valuing the private company at over $50 billion. (CNBC)

Uber has approached current or former officials from companies including Disney, Wal-Mart and CVS in a bid to revamp operations and bring discipline to its culture and CEO Travis Kalanick. (WSJ)

United Airlines (UAL) has settled with Dr. David Dao after he was dragged off a flight earlier this month. As part of the deal, the settlement amount remains confidential. Earlier Thursday, United unveiled a slew of policy changes. (CNBC)

Wells Fargo's (WFC) fake account scam targeted undocumented immigrants, new court filing allege. Upper management ordered Latino employees to patrol streets, an ex-branch manager claims. (NBC News)

WATERCOOLER

Robots are likely to replace 50 percent of all jobs in the next decade, according to Kai-Fu Lee, founder of venture capital firm Sinovation Ventures and a leading voice on tech in China. (CNBC)