Market Snapshot: U.S. stock futures slip as hectic week of earnings comes to a close


U.S. stock-index futures edged lower Friday as one of the busiest weeks of the first quarter earnings reporting season comes to a close with investors weighing blockbuster results from e-commerce giant Inc. while keeping an eye on weaker economic data out of China and Europe.

What are major benchmarks doing?
  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average

    fell 161 points, or 0.5%, to 33,790.
  • S&P 500 futures

    were down 23.65 points, or 0.6%, at 4,179.75.
  • Nasdaq-100 futures

    lost 98.50 points, or 0.7%, to trade at 13,855.

On Thursday, the S&P 500

posted a record close, rising 0.7%, while the Dow

advanced 239.98 points, or 0.7%, and the Nasdaq Composite

trailed behind, eking out a gain of 0.2%. Major benchmarks remained on track for solid monthly gains.

What’s driving the market?

Global equities were softer, with analysts noting signs of weaker manufacturing and services activity in China and recession in Europe.

China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers index declined to 51.1 in April from 51.9 in March, according to data released Friday by the National Bureau of Statistics. The reading was much lower than the 51.6 median forecast expected by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal, but remained above the 50 level, marking an expansion in activity.

The eurozone economy shrank at the beginning of 2021 for the second consecutive quarter, entering its second technical recession in a year.

Meanwhile, investors were sifting through earnings, including blockbuster resutls from and disappointing user numbers from Twitter Inc. The past week’s earnings deluge included largely positive results from the world’s largest technology companies.

“A key message from many of these tech firms is that the world is moving again, with businesses investing in areas like technology and advertising, and consumers spending,” said Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, in a note.

“This is fine for now but come summer and the market will be looking into 2022 and beyond and thinking more seriously about interest rate hikes following the economic recovery. That threatens to test investors’ optimism,” he said.

Data on U.S. personal income and consumer spending are due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. Personal income is expected to jump by 20% after a 7.1% fall in February, while spending is seen up 4% after a 1% February decline. Core inflation is expected to rise 0.3%.

The employment cost index for the first quarter is also due at 8:30 a.m. and is expected to show a rise of 0.7%, matching the increase seen in the fourth quarter.

The Chicago purchasing managers index for April is set for release at 9:45 a.m., while a final reading of the University of Michigan’s April consumer sentiment index is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Which companies are in focus?
  • Inc.

    shares were up 2.4% in premarket action after the company late Thursday announced a second consecutive quarter of more than $100 billion in sales and predicted a third on the way.
  • Shares of Twitter Inc.

    tumbled nearly 13% after the social-media platform reported increased quarterly revenue on the strength of ad sales, but saw its user numbers fall short of expectations.
  • U.S. Steel Corp.

    reported sales slightly below expectations and swung to a GAAP profit. Shares of the steelmaker were down 2.7%.
  • KLA Corp.

    shares were down 2.3%, after the low end of the company’s earnings outlook range fell short of Wall Street’s average estimate even though results for the quarter beat expectations. The company makes the instruments that foundries use to fabricate the silicon wafers that are manufactured into chips.
  • Chevron Corp.

    shares were 2.7% lower after the oil and gas giant on Friday reported a first-quarter profit that topped expectations but revenue that came up short, amid continued weakness in downstream volume and margin due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Winter Storm Uri.

Need to Know: Here’s what the tech giants have proved to their cynics — so what should investors do now?

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