S&P 500 futures hold the line ahead of another batch of earnings and Fedspeak

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U.S. stock index futures pointed to a mixed start just shy of record highs on Wednesday as bond markets were calmer and investors eyed more corporate earnings reports.

How are stock-index futures trading

  • S&P 500 futures
    rose 1 point, or 0% to 4976

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures
    added 3 points, or 0% to 38616

  • Nasdaq 100 futures
    climbed 10 points, or 0.1% to 17670

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 141 points, or 0.37%, to 38521, the S&P 500
increased 11 points, or 0.23%, to 4954, and the Nasdaq Composite
gained 11 points, or 0.07%, to 15609.

What’s driving markets

With 10-year Treasury yields again consolidating around the 4.1% level, as traders come to terms with the prospect of waiting until May for a likely Federal Reserve interest rate cut, so more investor attention is re-focused on corporate prospects.

And to that end the earnings season trundles on, with traders keen to see that profits can support a market sitting near record highs.

Souring the mood somewhat early Wednesday was a 30% plunge in shares of Snap
after the social-media company late Tuesday reported a revenue miss and offered a disappointing outlook.

In contrast, sentiment was supported by a 6% pop in shares of Ford Motor
and a 3% gain for Chipotle Mexican Grill
after they delivered well-received results and forecasts.

Companies reporting figures on Wednesday include Uber Technologies
CVS Health
and Roblox before the opening bell rings on Wall Street, followed after the close by PayPal
Walt Disney
and Arm

Indications that the U.S. economy has managed to thrive during a period of sharply rising interest rates, thus supporting company earnings growth, has been a primary driver of the latest equity rally, according to Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI asset Management.

“S&P 500 operating earnings growth of around 5% year-on-year fosters bullish sentiment among investors,” said Innes in a morning note. “Higher rates don’t appear to burden consumers or corporations significantly, enabling the Fed to wait longer to ensure inflation control without disrupting the stock market’s momentum amid robust U.S. growth dynamics.”

U.S. economic updates set for release on Wednesday include the trade deficit for December at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, and January consumer credit at 3 p.m.

There is another raft of Federal Reserve officials making comments, too. New Fed Governor Adriana Kugler will speak on policy and the economic outlook at 11 a.m., Boston Fed President Susan Collins will discuss the economic outlook at 11:30 a.m., Richmond Fed President Tom Barkin will speak to the Economic Club of Washington, DC at 12:30 p.m., and Fed Governor Michelle Bowman will talk about supporting small businesses at 2 p.m.

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