Dow Futures Up 160 Pts; Tencent in Spotlight on Regulation Concerns

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Dow Futures Up 160 Pts; Tencent in Spotlight on Regulation Concerns
Credit: © Reuters.

By Peter Nurse - U.S. stocks are seen edging higher at the open Tuesday, with investors focusing on the corporate earnings season and the risk of slowing economic growth as Covid cases rise.

At 7:05 AM ET (1105 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 160 points, or 0.5%, S&P 500 Futures traded 16 points, or 0.4%, higher and Nasdaq 100 Futures gained 16 points, or 0.1%.

The second-quarter earnings season has been generally positive, with over 88% of the corporate reports beating analysts' second-quarter profit estimates, according to Refinitiv data, the highest percentage on record based on data going back to 1994.

More earnings are due Tuesday, with the likes of Eli Lilly (NYSE: LLY ), Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR ), Under Armour (NYSE: UA ), Lyft (NASDAQ: LYFT ) and Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) set to release numbers during the session.

Away from earnings, Tencent (HK: 0700 ) Holdings (OTC: TCEHY ) will be in the spotlight after an article in a state-owned Chinese daily criticized videogaming companies and the impact they have on the young, stoking fears that the gaming sector may be next in the firing line of the Chinese authorities. The article was subsequently taken down and reposted without some of its strongest criticisms.

PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP ) announced plans to sell its controlling stake in Tropicana, Naked and other juice brands in North America to private equity firm PAI Partners for $3.3 billion.

Still, any equity gains are likely to be limited with the rise of U.S. Covid-19 cases keeping investors on edge.  

There were about 72,000 new cases per day in the United States as of Saturday, a 44 percent increase over the previous week and higher than the peak set in the summer of 2020, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“Things are going to get worse” as the delta variant fuels a surge in cases, according to U.S. infectious-disease expert Anthony Fauci earlier this week, but he did not expect the U.S. to lock down businesses again.

The economic data slate only really includes June factory orders , which are expected to show growth of 1.0%, a fall from May’s 1.7% drop, while Federal Reserve's Richard Clarida and Michelle Bowman both speak later Tuesday.

Elsewhere, crude prices edged higher, helped by strong results from oil major BP (NYSE: BP ) which joined its rivals in paying an enhanced dividend and increasing the pace of stock buybacks.

Of interest later in the session will be the latest forecasts of U.S. crude and product inventories for last week from the American Petroleum Institute .

At 7:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.5% higher at $71.58 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.5% to $73.22.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.5% to $1,813.05/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.2% higher at 1.1888.


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