Wednesday April 14th


Stock futures rise slightly amid strong bank earnings, Goldman shares gain

Dow Jones Industrial average futures implied a 25-point gain at the open. S&P 500 futures were 0.1% higher and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.3%. Shares of Goldman Sachs climbed 1.7% in premarket trading after the bank blew past analysts’ expectations with record first-quarter net profits and revenues on strong performance from the firm’s equities trading and investment banking units. JPMorgan Chase, the first major bank to report first-quarter earnings, beat analysts’ estimates on top and bottom lines, helped by a $5.2 billion benefit from releasing money it had previously set aside for loan losses that didn’t develop. Shares of JPMorgan dipped 0.8% in premarket trading. Wells Fargo also reported earnings and revenue that exceeded expectations for its first quarter. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 climbed 0.4% to close at a record high. Equities shrugged off the Food and Drug Administration’s request for states to pause administering Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine after six people in the U.S. developed a rare disorder involving blood clots. Moderna shares gained more than 7% on the news. After the bell on Tuesday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the drugmaker can deliver 10% more vaccine doses to the U.S. by the end of May than previously expected. Plus, Moderna said its Covid-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting against the virus six months after a person’s second shot. The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite rallied more than 1% Tuesday, with Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Netflix, Microsoft and Tesla all closing higher. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 68 points, after dropping more than 150 points earlier in the session. The Labor Department’s consumer price index came in slightly hotter than expected on Tuesday. The CPI rose 0.6% from the previous month but 2.6% from the same period a year ago. Economists polled by Dow Jones projected the headline index to rise by 0.5% month-over-month and 2.5% year-over-year. Investors are gearing up for the first wave of corporate earnings on Wednesday when JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo report before the bell. Bank stocks have risen sharply so far this year, with the KBW Bank Index easily outpacing the S&P 500. Analysts are expecting strong investment banking result. Plus, loan reserve releases could spark high earnings numbers. Market participants will also be watching for the Coinbase direct listing on Wednesday. Crypto investors are hailing the company’s stock market debut as a major milestone for the industry after years of skepticism from Wall Street and regulators. The price of bitcoin surged to a fresh record high of more than $63,500 on Tuesday. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will discuss the economic recovery from the pandemic at noon on Wednesday at The Economic Club of Washington. Shares in China led gains in Asia-Pacific during Wednesday trade as Chinese tech stocks listed in the city jumped. By the market close in mainland China, the Shanghai composite gained 0.6% to 3,416.72 while the Shenzhen component advanced 1.55% to 13,728. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also saw robust gains as it climbed 1.42% to finish the day at 28,900.83. Elsewhere, the Nikkei 225 in Japan slipped 0.44% on the day to 29,620.99 while the Topix index declined 0.33% to 1,952.18. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.42% to close at 3,182.38. Oil prices rose in early trade on Wednesday, adding to overnight gains, after industry data showed U.S. oil inventories declined more than expected and OPEC raised its outlook for oil demand. Brent crude futures rose $1.15, or 1.8%, to trade at $64.83 per barrel, after climbing 39 cents on Tuesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures advanced $1.07, or 1.8%, to $61.24 a barrel, adding to Tuesday’s rise of 48 cents. Gold prices inched higher on Wednesday, extending gains from the previous session after data showing a bigger-than-expected rise in U.S. inflation boosted bullion’s appeal as a hedge against it and weighed on the dollar and Treasury yields. Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,747.49 per ounce by 0125 GMT. U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,747.40 per ounce.