Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell as falling bond yields raised concern about the pace of global economic growth and took the focus away from more better-than-expected earnings results.
Dow futures fell about 177 points, or 0.5%. S&P 500 futures lost around 0.5%. Nasdaq 100 futures were flat. The slight pullback came with all major stock benchmarks about 1% or less from record highs. The S&P 500 is already up 16% this year in anticipation of a big profit comeback.
Investors were also awaiting key developments coming later in the session including:
- Day two of Congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell
- Weekly jobless claims data at 8:30 a.m. ET
Futures fell as investors focused on a rollover in bond yields, raising questions about the global economic recovery as variants of Covid-19 spread. The 10-year Treasury yield shed 2.7 basis points to 1.329%. It ended June at 1.45% and was above 1.70% back in March. China also reported GDP overnight that was less than expectations.
The move lower in yields dampened enthusiasm for the cyclical trade in the premarket with shares of Caterpillar, General Electric and Boeing lower. Cyclical stocks are those closely linked to a recovering economy.
Bank shares, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America, were lower in premarket, despite posting better-than-expected results earlier in the week, as the falling yields pinch their profitability.
Shares of Morgan Stanley dipped in early morning trading even after the company’s second-quarter earnings report topped analysts’ expectations with strong equities trading and investment banking results. Morgan Stanley were up 35% this year into the results and the stock may be reacting more to the outlook for yields than its actual results.
Delta shares bucked the trend however, gaining in premarket trading after an upgrade from Raymond James.
Netflix shares also rose premarket trading, gaining 2% after it hired a veteran video-game executive as it pushes deeper into gaming. Other large tech shares were higher in premarket trading, continuing a trend this week. Apple and Alphabet gained in premarket trading.
On Wednesday, the Dow rose 44 points, helped by a 2.4% gain in Apple’s stock. The S&P 500 climbed 0.12% after hitting an intraday record earlier in the session. The Nasdaq Composite was the relative underperformer, dipping 0.2%. However, the Nasdaq 100 closed at an all-time high.
The small-cap benchmark Russell 2000 lost 1.7% on Thursday, bringing its week-to-date losses to more than 3.4%.”
Fed Chair Powell — in testimony to the House Committee on Financial Services — quelled investors’ fears about a rollback of the central bank’s easy policies anytime soon, even in the face of inflation. The producer prices from June showed higher than expected inflation on Thursday.
“At our June meeting, the Committee discussed the economy’s progress toward our goals since we adopted our asset purchase guidance last December. While reaching the standard of ‘substantial further progress’ is still a ways off, participants expect that progress will continue,” Powell said.
Powell is scheduled to testify again before a Senate committee on Thursday at 9:30 a.m. ET.
“Fed chair Powell helped calm fears by again suggesting these bad inflation reports were merely transitory,” said Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at the Leuthold Group, noting the drop in bond yields following the hot inflation report. “Evidently, bond investors are buying the Fed’s inflation narrative.”
Earnings season continued on Wednesday with strong results of banks like Bank of America and other corporations; however, stock reactions remained tempered. All 12 of the S&P 500 companies that have posted quarterly fiscal results this week up to Wednesday morning have beaten earnings-per-share estimates, but the group is averaging a 0.56% decline following the results.
Become a smarter investor with CNBC Pro.
Get stock picks, analyst calls, exclusive interviews and access to CNBC TV.
Sign up to start a free trial today