US Stock Market

US Stock Index Futures Testing Record Highs as Earnings Season Continues

U.S. stock futures are edging higher in overnight trading on Wednesday following a flat opening after the major cash market averages hit record highs on inauguration day.

At 07:21 GMT, benchmark S&P 500 Index futures are up 0.27%. The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading higher by 0.16% and the tech-based NASDAQ Composite is up by 0.49%.

The early price action indicates investors have moved on from the bearish earnings report released by United Airlines after the close on Wednesday.

Major airline United dipped more than 2% in extended trading on Wednesday after missing on the top and bottom lines of its quarterly earnings. The airline warned sales would continue to suffer in the early part of 2021 as the coronavirus pandemic drags on.

Earnings season continues on Thursday with Baker Hughes, Union Pacific and Citrix reporting before the bell. Intel, IBM and CSX report after the closing bell on Thursday.

In economic news, the Labor Department will release last week’s jobless claims data at 13:30 GMT on Thursday. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect 925,000 Americans filed for unemployment last week, down from the previous week’s 965,000.

Wednesday Recap

U.S. equities rose to record highs on Wednesday as the latest batch of strong corporate earnings rolled in, as Joe Biden was sworn in as commander in chief.

The S&P 500 Index climbed 1.4%, notching an all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose more than 250 points to close at a record and the NASDAQ Composite surged nearly 2%, closing at a record. The technology heavy index was helped by a 16% jump in Netflix’s stock on the back of the streaming giant’s strong earnings and subscriber results.

The rest of the FAANG group, due to report results in the coming weeks, jumped with Facebook Inc, Inc, Apple and Google-parent Alphabet Inc rising between 2% and 5%.

Eight of the 11 S&P sectors advanced in afternoon trading, with technology, communication services and consumer discretionary among the biggest gainers.

The broader banks index, however, shed about 1.6%, declining for the third day.

Earnings Results

Morgan Stanley edged higher after its quarterly profit blew past estimates driven by strength in its trading business.

Procter & Gamble Co raised its full-year sales forecast for a second time as it benefited from sustained coronavirus-driven demand for cleaning products. Its shares, however, slipped about 1.4% after it warned that the pace of sales might slow as vaccines roll out.

UnitedHealth Group Inc slid 0.3% after the health insurer’s quarterly profit slumped nearly 38%, weighed down by costs related to its programs to make COVID-19 testing and treatment more accessible for its customers.

For a look at all of today’s economic events, check out our economic calendar.

Published by

James Hyerczyk

James A. Hyerczyk has worked as a fundamental and technical financial market analyst since 1982. His technical work features the pattern, price and time analysis techniques of W.D. Gann.