U.S. stock-index futures were little changed ahead of the final trading session of a holiday-shortened week Thursday as investors digested results from major Wall Street banks as well as economic data, including March retail sales.
- Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average YM00, -0.01% were up 24 points, or 0.1%, at 34,506.
- S&P 500 futures ES00, -0.26% were down 6.8 points, or 0.2%, at 4,435.5.
- Nasdaq-100 futures NQ00, -0.25% were up 16.3 points at 14,205.
Stocks ended on a strong note Wednesday, with the S&P 500 SPX, +1.12% and Nasdaq Composite COMP, +2.03% snapping three-day losing streaks, while the Dow DJIA, +1.01% advanced 344.23 points, or 1%. Indexes were on track for a losing week, however. U.S. equity markets will be closed on Good Friday.
What’s driving the market
Technology shares helped lead a bounce for stocks on Wednesday, as Treasury yields continued to pull back from three-year highs on speculation inflation may have peaked after data on Tuesday showed the consumer price index rose at its hottest pace since 1981 in March. The report showed core inflation — excluding food and energy — came in softer than expected in March, prompting some economists and investors to discuss an inflation peak.
Federal Reserve Gov. Christopher Waller told CNBC Wednesday afternoon that inflation likely had peaked but that the central bank needed to press ahead with aggressive rate increases and monetary tightening to get it under control. Waller said he continued to support a 50 basis point rate hike in May and “possibly more in June and July,”
Treasury yields were nudging back to the upside early Thursday, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note TMUBMUSD10Y, 2.731% up 1.5 basis points at 2.703%.
“To be honest, with hopes over an imminent resolution in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine diminishing, and with most major central banks hiking — or preparing to hike — more aggressively than previously thought, we don’t see a clear and valid catalyst behind the rebound in equities,” said Charalambos Pissouros, head of research at JFD Group, in a note.
“Perhaps it was a short-covering bounce. We will hold the view that the path of least resistance remains to the downside,” the analyst wrote.
In U.S. economic data Thursday, retail sales rose a mild 0.5% in March and a large part of the increase reflected higher gasoline prices, suggesting inflation is taking a toll on U.S. households. Sales in February were revised up to show a 0.8% increase instead of 0.3%.
initial jobless claims rose 18,000 to 185,000 in the week ended April 9, the Labor Department said Thursday. Claims had matched a 54-year low in the prior week. Retail sales excluding autos and gas increased 0.2% in March.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank on Thursday said it expected to end net asset buys under its Asset Purchase Program in the third quarter.
What companies are in focus
- Twitter shares rose 12% after Musk disclosed he was offering to buy all Twitter stock outstanding he doesn’t own for $54.20 a share, an 18.2% premium to Wednesday’s closing price of $45.85.
- Shares of Morgan Stanley MS gained 1% in pre-market trading after beating profit and revenue targets. Wells Fargo & Co. WFC shares were down 3.9% in pre-market trading as the bank beats earnings target while falling short on revenue. Citigroup Inc. C shares gained 1.2% as the bank posted a 46% drop in profit for the first quarter, while the earnings still topped analysts’ estimates.
- JPMorgan Chase & Co. JPM shares fell more than 3% on Wednesday after disappointing results.
- Rite Aid Corp. RAD, +2.60% shares rose 3.7% in Thursday premarket trading after it reported fourth-quarter revenue that beat consensus and gave guidance ahead of Street expectations. The pharmacy retailer posted a net loss of $389.1 million, or $7.18 per share, after a loss of $18.5 million, or 34 cents per share, last year.
What other assets are doing
- The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, +0.31%, a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, was down 0.02%.
- Bitcoin BTCUSD, -0.05% was up 3.3% to trade at around $41,122.
- Oil futures pulled back, with the U.S. benchmark CL.1, -1.90% down 1.4% below $103 a barrel, while gold futures GC00, -0.38% fell 0.5% to trade below $1,974 an ounce.
- The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.55% rose 0.5%, while London’s FTSE 100 UKX, +0.21% rose 0.1%.
- The Shanghai Composite SHCOMP, +1.22% rose 1.2%, while the Hang Seng Index HSI, +0.67% was up 0.7% in Hong Kong and Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK, +1.22% gained 1.2%.