Wednesday July 20th


Stock futures slide after big gain in prior session as investors brace for more earnings reports

U.S. stock index futures declined on Wednesday as traders continued to review corporate reports in a busy earnings season. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 100 points, or 0.33%. S&P 500 dipped 0.3% and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.19%. Investors are bracing for a choppy earnings season, even after coming off a sharp rally in the previous session, as they search for more clues into the state of the economy. “Despite Tuesday’s more positive trading session, we don’t expect a sustained improvement in market sentiment until investors get greater clarity on the outlook for the economy, central bank policy, and political risks,” UBS’ Mark Haefele wrote in a Wednesday note. Some investors have been encouraged by the recent trading action, believing it is signaling that the bear market has bottomed. NYSE stocks achieved a widely followed “90% up day” on Tuesday with more than 90% of stocks listed on the exchange advancing and accounting for more than 90% of the volume. The Dow rallied more than 700 points during Tuesday’s session, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq soaring 2.8% and 3.1%, respectively. The three benchmarks also closed above their respective 50-day moving averages for the first time since April. “We view this bullish breadth day as a sign that the summer rebound for U.S. equities can continue,” wrote Stephen Suttmeier, technical research strategist for Bank of America, in a note Wednesday. A report from the Mortgage Bankers Association pointed to more pain for U.S. consumers as they deal with higher prices and interest rates. Mortgage demand declined more than 6% last week compared with the prior week, dropping to its lowest level in 22 years. Netflix surged more than 7% in after-hours trading after saying it lost only 970,000 subscribers in the second quarter, less than the 2 million it had previously projected. The streaming giant’s earnings per share also came in above analyst expectations. Biogen and Baker Hughes are among the companies set to report later in the morning. Tesla and United Airlines are slated to post their latest quarterly results after the close. About 10% of S&P 500 companies have reported earnings thus far. Of those companies, nearly 69% have beaten analyst expectations, according to FactSet. Investors had been awaiting this earnings season as they search for clues on how companies are faring with inflation at levels not seen in 40 years. Shares in the Asia-Pacific jumped Wednesday after a sharp bounce in U.S. stocks overnight. The Nikkei 225 in Japan rose 2.67% to close at 27,680.26 with Fast Retailing and Tokyo Electron up 2.59% and 4.88% respectively. The Topix index gained 2.29% to 1,946.44. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index briefly traded 2% higher and was up 1.5% in its final hour of trade. The Hang Seng Tech index advanced 2.16%. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.67% to 2,386.85 and the Kosdaq was 1.07% higher at 790.72. Markets in Mainland China ticked higher. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.77% to 3,304.72, and the Shenzhen Component rose 0.63% to 12,573.12. Oil prices fell more than $1 a barrel on Wednesday, under pressure from global central bank efforts to limit inflation and ahead of expected builds in U.S. crude inventories as fuel demand weakens. Brent crude prices for September fell $1.68, or 1.6%, to $105.67 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for August slipped 1.5% to $102.70 per barrel. The WTI contract will expire on Wednesday. The more active September WTI contract was at $99.64 a barrel, down $1.10. Gold slipped on Wednesday as gains in the dollar and reduced recession fears on expectations of Russian gas supplies to Europe resuming soon dented safe-haven bullion’s appeal. Spot gold was down 0.11% at $1,709.19 per ounce in rangebound trading. U.S. gold futures eased 0.13% to $1,708.5.