U.S. stocks were poised to climb on Thursday as investors braced for a fresh round of earnings reports from major financial institutions and economic data, including a reading on retail sales and weekly jobless claims.
How are stock benchmarks trading?
- Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YM00, +0.41% YMM21, +0.41% gained 153 points, or 0.5%, to reach 33,777.
- S&P 500 index futures ESM21, +0.43% ES00, +0.43% were trading 18.60 points to reach 4,136.50, a gain of 0.5%.
- Nasdaq-100 futures NQ00, +0.64% NQM21, +0.64% advanced 74.25 points, or 0.6%, to 13,873.
On Wednesday, the Dow DJIA, +0.16% closed up 53.62 points or 0.2% to 33,730.89, the S&P 500 index SPX, -0.41% finished 16.93 points or 0.4% lower at 4,124.66, while the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -0.99% shed 138.26 points or 1% to close at 13, 857.84, off 1.7% from its Feb. 12 record high.
What’s driving the market?
Wall Street is looking at another big day for earnings reports, economic data and speakers from the Federal Reserve that could help dictate momentum for the market.
So far the trend appears to be higher for equities, a day after Coinbase Global’s debut on the Nasdaq, marking a major milestone for the crypto industry.
On Thursday, investors were poring over a first-quarter report from Bank of America Corp. BAC, +1.42% after it reported profit that more than doubled and beat expectations, citing strong growth in capital markets and lower credit costs. The bank also announced a $25 billion stock repurchase program. Bank of America is one of the most actively traded stocks in the U.S. market.
Investors will also parse results from PepsiCo PEP, -0.66%, Citigroup C, +1.18%, BlackRock BLK, -0.18% and Delta Air Lines DAL, -0.19%, a day after Goldman Sachs Group GS, +2.34% and JPMorgan Chase JPM, -1.87% delivered good results, suggesting that the economic recovery from the COVID pandemic is indeed taking hold.
Beyond earnings, some strategist said that market participants may becoming more entrenched in the belief despite rising inflation the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates low and liquidity measures in place to continue to stimulate the COVID-stricken economy. Doubts about the Fed’s commitment had been driving up benchmark bond yields this year but lately yields have stabilized, with the 10-year Treasury note yielding a little over 1.60% on Thursday and trading within a range between 1.6 and 1.75% in recent weeks.
“While there’s a lot of excitement in equities, traders are also keeping an eye on the fixed income markets. US Treasuries are showing that investors are becoming more convinced by the Federal Reserve’s message that inflation spikes are only transitory and won’t lead to a tightening of policy anytime soon,” wrote Hussein Sayed, Chief Market Strategist at FXTM, in a note.
In a moderated discussion sponsored by the Economic Club of Washington, Federal Reserve boss Jerome Powell said the central bank would likely taper asset purchases “well before the time we consider raising interest rates,” riffing off the 2013-14 playbook.
“We haven’t voted on that order, but that is the sense of the guidance that it would work in that way,” Powell said.
On the public health front, a study by Oxford University found the number of people who receive blood clots after getting vaccinated with a coronavirus vaccine are about the same for those who get Pfizer PFE and Moderna MRNA vaccines as well as for the AstraZeneca AZN vaccine that was produced with the university’s help. The study comes after the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requested an immediate halt of Johnson & Johnson’s JNJ, +0.28% one-shot COVID vaccine.
Investors are also awaiting remarks from Fed speakers, including Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic Speaks at 11:30 a.m. Eastern, San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly at 2 p.m. and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester at 4 p.m.
In U.S. economic data, investors will look for the Labor Department’s latest report on the number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect the government to report that another 710,000 filed claims for the first time during the week ended April 10. And a report on March retail sales, due at the same time, are expected to show a rise in consumer spending on the back of $1,400 COVID aid checks.
A reading of manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia area, the Philadelphia Manufacturing Index, also is due at 8:30 a.m., and will be closely watched. A separate report from the New York region, the Empire State Manufacturing Index, will be released at the same time.
A report on industrial production at 9 a.m., and separate reports on business inventories and a housing market index are set to come out at 10 a.m.
Which companies are in focus?
- Shares of Coinbase Global COIN, +31.31% climbed in premarket trading on Thursday, a day after the cryptocurrency platform became the most valuable U.S. exchange Wednesday amid strong demand for its newly listed stock.
- ARK Invest bought cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase Global COIN, which went public Wednesday, for three of the ARK exchange-traded funds, including the flagship ARK Innovation ETF ARKK. ARK Invest bought Coinbase stock valued at $246 million for the ARK Innovation ETF, ARK Next Generation Internet ETF ARKW and ARK Fintech Innovation ETF ARKF. ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood spoke of Coinbase’s potential, as well as volatility, in an interview with Bloomberg BNN on Wednesday.
- Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. UNH jumped into record territory in premarket trading Thursday, after the healthcare services company reported first-quarter profit and revenue that rose above expectations and raised its full-year outlook.
- PepsiCo Inc. said its profit rose for the recent quarter as sales grew.
- Tapestry Inc. TPR said Thursday it has made Todd Kahn its permanent chief executive and brand president of Coach with immediate effect, elevating him into the role he has served on an interim basis since July 2020.
- Kimco Realty Corp. KIM announced Thursday an agreement to buy Weingarten Realty Investors WRI in a cash and stock deal that values the owner of grocery-anchored shopping centers at about $3.9 billion.
- Dell Technologies Inc. DELL shares were in focus after the computer maker said it was finally spinning off its majority stake of VMware Inc. VMW.
- TuSimple Holdings Inc. TSP, is set to go public Thursday, after the self-driving trucks maker’s initial public offering priced at $40 a share, above the expected range of between $35 and $39 a share.