U.S. stock-index futures point to fourth day of gains for Wall Street


U.S. stock futures pointed to further gains for Wall Street on Friday, as investors continued to balance positive earnings news with concerns about how rising COVID-19 cases might affect the economic recovery.

What are major indexes doing?
  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
    YM00,
    +0.39%
    rose nearly 0.4%.

  • S&P 500 futures
    ES00,
    +0.45%
    rose 0.4%.

  • Nasdaq-100 futures
    NQ00,
    +0.51%
    rose 0.5%.

On Thursday, stocks finished modestly higher, with the Dow
DJIA,
+0.07%
rising 25.35 points, or 0.1%, to 34,823, while the S&P 500
SPX,
+0.20%
rose 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
+0.36%
advanced 0.4%.

For the week to date, the S&P 500 is set to gain 0.9%, the Dow industrials is poised for a 0.4% rise and the Nasdaq Composite is set to gain 1.8%.

What’s driving the market?

Markets brushed aside Thursday’s data showing a rise in weekly jobless claims to send markets to a positive finish. Technology stocks continued to curry favor with investors, with more positive earnings news late Thursday from Twitter and Snapchat parent Snap.

A strong performance by technology stocks has come amid rising concerns linked to the highly contagious delta variant of coronavirus that is contributing to a spread of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., notably in states that have seen lower vaccinations.

“Investors are unsure what this update means for the economy’s recovery in the coming months. Investors should keep in mind that, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, tech stocks provided a haven for distressed investors due to their higher-than-average earnings performance,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, in a note to clients.

“Responding with the same strategy, investors are moving away from stocks positively correlated with economic cycles to tech stocks in an attempt to hedge their risk,” he said.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note 
TMUBMUSD10Y,
1.288%
 rose 3 basis points to 1.283%, after slipping to 1.264% on Thursday.

A light day for data will see Markit purchasing managers index readings for the manufacturing and services sectors released at 9:45 a.m. Eastern.

European stocks
SXXP,
+0.75%
rose Friday, while Asian markets finished a mixed session, with China’s CSI 300
000300,
-1.21%
and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng
HSI,
-1.45%
indexes down over 1% each, and with shares of tech giants Tencent
700,
-2.39%
and Alibaba
BABA,
+1.40%
under pressure.

Asian tech losses came after Bloomberg reported Thursday that regulators were planning more penalties for ride-sharing giant Didi
DIDI,
-11.30%,
whose shares list in New York and were down another 7% in premarket trading on Friday in the U.S. Those shares lost 11% on Thursday.

Read: More than 1 in 10 Americans invested in crypto this year — here’s how they differ from stock market investors

Which companies are in focus?
  • Shares of Snap Inc.
    SNAP,
    -0.66%
    surged 17% in early premarket trade after the social-media company late Thursday said it saw revenue more than double in the last quarter thanks to a continued rebound in the advertising market.

  • Twitter Inc.
    TWTR,
    +0.04%
    late Thursday said it swung to a profit in the second quarter, while revenue rose as the social-media company increased its share of active users. Share rose 5% in premarket trading.

  • Intel Corp. INTC shares fell 2% in premarket after the chip maker late Thursday reported results that topped expectations, but saw its outlook barely surpass the average forecast from Wall Street analysts.

  • Boston Beer
    SAM,
    +1.89%
    stock tumbled nearly 20% after the maker of Sam Adams beer and Truly-branded alcoholic teas and seltzers, reported a second-quarter profit fall and earnings miss. Executives also slashed the annual forecast they had just lifted three months prior.



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