Thursday January 13th


Stock futures nudge higher after a 3-day winning streak for Nasdaq

U.S. stock index futures were slightly positive during early trading on Thursday after the Nasdaq Composite rose for the third session despite hot inflation data. Dow futures were up 98 points. S&P 500 futures rose about 0.2%, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained roughly 0.2%. In early earnings action, Delta Air Lines posted a beat on profit and revenue and reaffirmed full-year guidance. Shares rose about 1.7% in premarket trading. Elsewhere, shares of homebuilder KB Home rallied more than 8% in extended trading after reporting better-than-expected earnings. Analysts expect fourth-quarter earnings to be up 22.4%, according to Refinitiv, but guidance for 2022 from companies will likely be a key determinant for market action. Elsewhere, Dow component Boeing rose about 3% premarket following a Bloomberg News report that the company’s 737 Max could resume service in China as soon as this month. Thursday’s market moves came as another inflation report showed a historically high rise in prices but was not as bad as some economists feared. The December producer price index rose 0.2% month over month. That was below the 0.4% expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones. However, the measure was up 9.7% year over year, which is the highest on record going back to 2010. That report follows Wednesday’s December consumer price index, a key inflation measure, which increased 7% year over year, according to the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. That was the highest annual reading since 1982, but the report was largely in line with expectations. On Wednesday, The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 38 points and the S&P 500 added 0.3%. The Nasdaq Composite gained for the third straight day, climbing 0.2%. “Stocks shook off the sticker shock of the historically high inflation number, but that was also widely expected and incredibly a non-event today really,” said Ryan Detrick of LPL Financial. “What we are excited about is earnings season is right around the corner. We expect another solid showing by corporate America, while it will also be a chance to stop focusing so much on the Fed and policy, but instead get under the hood and see how the economy is really doing.” Elsewhere, Initial jobless claims for the week ending Jan. 8 came in at 230,000, above the 200,000 projected by economists polled by Dow Jones forecast. However, continuing claims declined. Markets also will be watching action on Capitol Hill, where Fed Governor Lael Brainard will be heading for her confirmation as vice chairman of the central bank’s policymaking Federal Open Market Committee. Fourth-quarter earnings season kicks off this week with several major banks reporting on Friday before the bell. For the week, the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are up 1.1% and 1.7%, respectively. The Dow is up slightly since Monday. Asia-Pacific markets mostly fell on Thursday as Wall Street saw gains despite a red-hot inflation report that set market expectations for rate hikes. Meanwhile, Covid worries also came into focus as the World Health Organization warned that omicron cases are “off the charts.” Chinese markets deepened losses in the afternoon. The Shanghai composite tumbled 1.17% to close at 3,555.26, while the Shenzhen component fell nearly 2% to 14,138.34. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index lost 0.15% after rising earlier. Japan also fell, as the Nikkei 225 tumbled 0.96% to close at 28,489.13, after jumping nearly 2% on Wednesday, while the Topix lost 0.68% to 2,005.58. Over in South Korea, the Kospi was down 0.35%, closing at 2,962.09. Oil prices slipped on Thursday, trimming big gains from the previous two sessions, amid uncertainty over near-term demand as cases of the highly contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus surge around the globe. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures slipped 11 cents, or 0.13%, to $82.53 a barrel, after climbing 1.7% in the previous session. Brent crude futures shed 5 cents, or 0.06%, to $84.63 a barrel, after rising 1.3% on Wednesday. Gold prices edged lower on Thursday as benchmark 10-year Treasury yields recovered some losses, but the precious metal stayed close to last session’s one-week high as the dollar extended its slide. Spot gold was 0.1% lower at $1,823.24 per ounce by 1020 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,822.20. In the previous session, bullion rose to $1,827.92, its highest since Jan. 5.