1. Nasdaq at new all-time highs! After 15 years of playing catch-up to the S&P, the Nasdaq finally hit new all-time highs ahead of its more staid colleague. 15 years ago, the tech-heavy index was fueled by "dot.com" startups with no earnings, or if they had earnings, with 3-digit P/E ratios. Today the index is lead by giant blue chips like Apple, Google, Facebook, Intel and Microsoft.
2. Strong earnings from key big caps. Pre-market futures are happy and getting happier by the hour following nice beats by key Nasdaq players, including:
Starbucks shares (SBUX) are up 3.5% on its report showing record sales and increased store traffic.
And Juniper Networks (JNPR) shares are jumping -- up nearly 7% -- after the firm's latest earnings surpassed market expectations.
3. Keep an eye on AAPL today. It's worth watching trading in Apple (AAPL) Friday. The company is beginning to deliver its new Apple Watches today. Despite reports of customers having to wait weeks to get their preordered watches, demand remains strong. AAPL reports earnings after the bell on 4/27.
5. International markets are also happy: European markets are all posting solid gains in early trading. Germany is leading the way with a gain of 0.5% thus far. The Hang Seng closed up 0.9% today while other Asian markets ...