Dow Futures Rise 140 Pts; Meta Platforms and GDP Data in Focus

  • Stock Market News
Dow Futures Rise 140 Pts; Meta Platforms and GDP Data in Focus

By Peter Nurse -- U.S. stocks are seen opening in a mixed fashion Thursday, with a weak forecast from Meta Platforms weighing heavily on the tech-heavy Nasdaq, ahead of results from Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) and the first reading of gross domestic product for the third quarter.

At 07:00 ET (11:00 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 140 points, or 0.4%, but S&P 500 Futures traded 3 points, or 0.1%, lower, and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 75 points, or 0.7%.

The main U.S. equity indices closed largely lower Wednesday, weighed by disappointing earnings by tech giants Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) and Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL ). This resulted in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite falling 2%, the broad-based S&P 500 dropping 0.7%, while the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed largely unchanged.

The tech sector is set to head lower again Thursday after Meta Platforms (NASDAQ: META ), the owner of Facebook, forecast a weak holiday quarter and significantly more costs next year after the close Wednesday. This resulted in its stock falling over 20% premarket, with investors skeptical about the company's pricey metaverse bets.

This weak tone isn’t universal, with Dow futures higher as investors hope that these signs of corporate slowdown will prompt the Federal Reserve to slow the pace of its interest rate hikes to tame inflation.

The U.S. central bank is widely expected to hike interest rates by another 75 basis points next week, but hopes are rising that the Fed policymakers will choose to be less aggressive at its policy meeting in December.

The Bank of Canada announced a smaller-than-expected rate hike on Wednesday, while the European Central Bank will announce its latest decision later in the session.

The first reading of U.S. gross domestic product for the third quarter is due at 08:30 ET (12:30 GMT), and is expected to show growth of 2.4% on the quarter, the first positive number in two quarters.

The weekly jobless claims data are also due at the same time, and is expected to rise slightly from last week, as the labor market starts to show signs of strain.

Turning back to the corporate sector, results from e-commerce giant Amazon and iPhone maker Apple are expected later in the day.

Investors will be looking for news about Amazon’s second Prime sales event earlier this month as well as its outlook on the holiday shopping season, as well as the sales of the new iPhones Apple rolled out in September.

Oil prices edged higher Thursday, continuing the previous session’s strong gains after record-high U.S. crude exports pointed to healthy global oil demand.

A report from the Energy Information Administration , released Wednesday, detailed a bigger-than-expected rise in U.S. crude inventories, but the market looked through this given a large percentage of the increase came from a drawdown of strategic reserves.

Instead, the focus was on U.S. crude exports surging to a record-high 5.1 million barrels a day, suggesting resilience in global demand despite rising inflation and interest rates.

By 07:00 ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.5% higher at $88.36 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.4% to $94.20. The contracts posted gains of around 3% in the previous session.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,665.05/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.4% lower at 1.0037.

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