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Stock futures inch higher as Wall Street wraps up the first week of second-quarter earnings reports

Stock futures inch higher as Wall Street wraps up the first week of second-quarter earnings reports

16 Jul 2021

Scott Mlyn | CNBC

Futures contracts tied to the U.S. stock indexes rose slightly on Friday as Wall Street neared the end of the first major week of second-quarter earnings reports.

Dow futures gained 15 points. S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures also traded slightly higher.

Cyclical stocks tied to the economic recovery led the gains in early morning trading. A stabilization in bond yields aided this move with the 10-year Treasury yield climbing back up above 1.30%. Bank of America led gains in banks in premarket trading. Boeing shares were higher by 0.5%. Airlines, casinos, and energy stocks were indicated higher.

The iShares Russell 2000 ETF, containing small cap shares more reliant on the U.S. economy, gained 0.5% in premarket trading.

Most tech shares were flat to little changed in premarket trading, however Intel shares were higher by about 1%. Intel is in talks to buy GlobalFoundries Inc. for about $30 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar. That would be the chipmaker’s largest deal ever.

The moves came as investors pored over the first batch of second-quarter earnings reports published throughout the week.

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Though some of the nation’s largest lenders posted healthy profits and revenues amid the economic recovery, the reaction in the stock market has been less than rosy. Morgan Stanley’s second-quarter earnings report, for example, topped analysts’ expectations Thursday, yet its shares closed just 0.18% higher.

For the 18 S&P 500 companies that beat analyst estimates for second-quarter earnings this week, the average earnings-per-share result was 18% higher than expected. But those companies saw their shares fall 0.58% on average after reporting.

The muted moves in reaction to corporate earnings have contributed to an equally lackluster week for the S&P 500, which has dipped 0.2% so far this week.

Much of the market’s upward pressure over the last week has come from a handful of mega-cap internet and communications stocks. Apple is up 2.3% since the week began, while Netflix, Alphabet and Microsoft are all up at least 1.1%.

Wall Street may be checking its optimism in the aftermath of the recent hot consumer price index inflation report and commentary from both Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about the pace of price appreciation.

Yellen, who spoke to CNBC’s “Closing Bell” on Thursday, said she predicts prices could continue to rise for several more months before cooling off.

“I’m not saying that this is a one-month phenomenon. But I think over the medium term, we’ll see inflation decline back toward normal levels,” she said. “But, of course, we have to keep a careful eye on it.”

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