Jul 16, 2020

US Market | Futures Indicator: Dow futures drop more than 100 points as earnings season continues, jobless claims ahead

Fred Imbert, Pippa Stevens

U.S. stock futures fell on Thursday with investors focused on earnings results and looking ahead to the weekly U.S. jobless claims report.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures traded 150 points lower, or 0.6%. S&P 500 futures dipped 0.7% and Nasdaq-100 futures were off by 1.4%.

Bank of America reported better-than-expected earnings for the previous quarter. However, the stock fell more than 2% as the company set aside $4 billion for coronavirus-related losses. Dow member Johnson & Johnson traded 0.8% lower despite posting better-than-expected results.

Morgan Stanley shares rose 0.9% after the company’s quarterly earnings easily beat analyst expectations on the back of strong trading revenues. Netflix is set to report earnings after the bell.
Thursday’s moves came following a major sell-off in mainland Chinese stocks, which saw the Shanghai composite down more than 4% on the day. That came despite China reporting that the country’s GDP grew 3.2% in the second quarter of the year as compared to a year ago — above expectations of a 2.5% growth by economics in a Reuters poll.

In the U.S., traders awaited the release of weekly unemployment claims data. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect an 1.25 million people to have filed for unemployment benefits last week.
June’s retail sales number will also be released on Thursday, with economists polled by Dow Jones expecting a 5.2% jump as the economy continued to reopen. May’s 17.7% surge blew past estimates and was the largest reading on record.

Stocks finished Wednesday’s session higher, fueled by positive news regarding a potential coronavirus vaccine, as well as strong earnings results from Goldman Sachs.
Data published by the New England Journal of Medicine showed Moderna’s coronavirus vaccine produced a “robust” immune response, or neutralizing antibodies, in all 45 patients in its early stage human trial.

With Wednesday’s gain, the S&P 500 is now less than 5% away from recovering its February all-time high level, although some investors believe the rally has run too far, too fast, given all the uncertainties that remain in the market.
“We are not out of the woods yet and are still far away from returning to pre-Covid-19 economic levels,” said Nate Fischer, chief investment strategist at Strategic Wealth Partners.
“The market is in need of a health-care solution, as the economy was forced to shut down for a health-care issue. So far, we’ve had fiscal and monetary assistance to this problem. Until a real medical remedy is found, the market will remain volatile,” he added.

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