Futures inch higher in run-up to corporate earnings

By Thomson Reuters Apr 23, 2024 | 5:02 AM

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose marginally on Tuesday as some growth and chip stocks gained, while market participants geared up for a busy week of quarterly earnings that could help gauge the health of America’s corporates.

Most megacap growth stocks, including Meta Platforms, Microsoft and Tesla, edged up between 0.4% and 1.1% in premarket trading. The tech majors are scheduled to report their quarterly numbers this week, with Tesla kicking off the cycle after markets close.

Apple was an outlier, down 0.4%, as market data showed its smartphone shipments tumbled 19% in China.

Early gains in some chip stocks also offered support to equities, with Nvidia, Micron Technology and Marvell Technology up between 1.1% and 1.3%.

On the docket for the day are quarterly numbers before the bell from PepsiCo, United Parcel Service and General Motors, among others.

U.S. stocks had a sharp sell-off last week after heightened tensions in the Middle East and as markets re-evaluated their rate-cut expectations from the Federal Reserve.

“While further volatility can be expected, especially with ongoing attacks in the Middle East, we think a gradually improving risk-reward outlook for U.S. stocks continues to support our focuses on finding opportunities within and beyond technology,” Mark Haefele, chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management said in a note.

The Personal Consumption Expenditures index reading for March, the Fed’s preferred inflation measure, is due on Friday and will help ascertain the central bank’s monetary policy trajectory.

Money markets are now pricing in just about 38 basis points of interest-rate cuts, down from about 150 bps seen at the start of the year.

On the data front, investors will await the S&P Global Composite Flash PMI data for April, due after the opening bell.

At 5:34 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 30 points, or 0.08%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.25 points, or 0.10%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 28.5 points, or 0.16%.

Among single stocks, Cadence Design Systems lost 6% in premarket trading after the chip design software maker forecast second-quarter revenue below analysts’ estimates.

Roblox added 3.7% after J.P.Morgan upgraded the gaming platform to “overweight” from “neutral” on significant monetization opportunity.

(Reporting by Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Pooja Desai)