Dow, S&P 500 futures wobble but tech stocks aim for opening gains

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By Barbara Kollmeyer and Mark DeCambre

Nasdaq-100 futures indicate strength for tech stocks

Dow and S&P 500 index futures were edging higher Wednesday morning, in choppy early trade, as the third quarter corporate earnings reporting season began.

Investors also were awaiting minutes from the Federal Reserve due at 2 p.m. ET and parsing September inflation data that came in slightly hotter than expected, highlighting concerns about a protracted period of rising prices.

How are stock-index futures trading?

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 118 points, or 0.34%, to 34378, the S&P 500 declined 11 points, or 0.24%, to 4351, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 20 points, or 0.14%, to 14466.

What’s driving the market?

Stock markets have seen choppy action this week as investors focused on third-quarter U.S. corporate earnings, amid concerns supply-chain problems and labor shortages have dented profit margins.

JPMorgan Chase(JPM)results were better than Wall Street forecasts on earnings per share as it released another $2.1 billion of loan loss reserves. Its shares rose 0.5% in premarket.

Analysts expect S&P 500 index earnings to rise 27.6% annually, a pace markedly slower than a 52.8% gain in the first quarter and 92.4% in the second quarter, which both benefited from favorable comparisons with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Bank of America has warned that guidance from companies could be ugly amid a “make or break quarter.”

Read:Will bank stocks’ wild rally continue? Here are the numbers to watch in this week’s earnings

Opinion: Beating the market would still be tough even if you knew the S&P 500’s earnings before everyone else

The U.S. consumer price index rose 0.4% in September after climbing 0.3% in August, the Labor Department said on Wednesday. In the 12 months through September, the CPI increased 5.4% after advancing 5.3% year-on-year in August.Excluding the volatile food and energy components, the CPI climbed 0.2% after edging up 0.1% in August, the smallest gain in six months. The so-called core CPI rose 4.0% on a year-on-year basis after increasing 4.0% in August.

Higher prices for food, gasoline and rent drove most of the advance. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 03% increase in the CPI.

Later on Wednesday, investors will get the latest Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes. That could “reiterate the Fed’s willingness to start tapering the bond purchases soon and could give a further insight regarding the need and the possibility of seeing the rate normalization happen before 2023,” said Ipek Ozkardeskaya, senior analyst at Swissquote, in a note to clients.

-Barbara Kollmeyer

What companies are in focus?

How are other assets trading?

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

10-13-21 0925ET

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