Thursday November 17th


Stock futures fall as investors weigh cross currents of latest earnings

U.S. stock markets index futures fell Thursday as investors responded to the latest batch of quarterly results and awaited a slew of Federal Reserve speakers. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 260 points, or 0.8%. S&P 500 futures slipped 0.9%, while Nasdaq 100 futures also fell 0.9%. Retailer Bath & Body Works jumped more than 20% after it beat revenue expectations and doubled what was anticipated for per-share earnings. Cisco was up more than 3% after beating both earnings and revenue estimates. Macy’s popped 8% after surpassing expectations in its third-quarter results. The latest moves followed a down day on Wall Street, the second in three days. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell 0.83% and 1.54%, respectively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 39.09 points, or 0.12%. Downward pressure emerged from weak guidance from Target, which reported a decline in sales as inflation pinches shoppers heading into the holiday season. The Minneapolis-based chain ended 13% lower, while its forward guidance cast doubt on other retailers. Target followed better-than-expected reports earlier in the week from Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart, which beat expectations and said inflation was not hitting them as hard. “There’s an adjustment process that’s going on,” by companies, said Thomas Martin, senior portfolio manager at GLOBALT Investments. “I’m not saying that’s a reason to take no action in a portfolio, but trying to chase things usually ends up meaning you’re making a bad decision and then another bad decision and another bad decision.” Investors will also watch tomorrow for weekly jobless claims, the latest reports on on October housing starts and building permits, and manufacturing surveys from the Philadelphia and Kansas City Federal Reserve banks. Earnings season continues Thursday with additional retailers, such as Gap after the bell. Shares in the Asia-Pacific traded mostly lower with the Hang Seng Index falling 2.09% as Chinese technology stocks saw sharp losses after Tencent announced to slash its over $20 billion-stake in Meituan. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.52% and the Shenzhen Component also fell 0.69%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.19% to close at 7,135.7 as the nation’s unemployment numbers came in better than expected. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 shed 0.35% to end the session 27,930.57 at while the Topix gained 0.15% to close at 1,966.28 as the country reported a trade deficit of $15.5 billion, bigger than forecasted in a Reuters poll. South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.14% after a delayed open, and closed its session at 2,448.06. Oil prices fell for a second day in early Asian trade on Thursday as concerns over geopolitical tensions eased and rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in China added to demand worries in the world’s largest crude importer. Brent crude futures dropped by 62 cents, or 0.7%, to $92.24 a barrel by 0110 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 65 cents, or 0.8%, to $84.94 a barrel. Brent dropped by 1.1% and WTI declined by 1.5% on Wednesday after Russian oil shipments via the Druzhba pipeline to Hungary restarted. Gold prices were flat on Thursday as safe-haven demand from latest geopolitical concerns faded, while hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve would be less aggressive on rate hikes over coming months underpinned the market. Spot gold was mostly unchanged at $1,773.40 per ounce, as of 0103 GMT. U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,776.20 per ounce. Gold prices hit a three-month peak of $1,786.35 per ounce on Tuesday, after news that Russian missiles killed two people in Poland near the Ukraine border.