Futures on US stock indices declined in early trading on Thursday after the Dow Jones Industrial Average index rose to a record high in the trading session on Wednesday amid strong earnings reports of US companies included in the index. Dow Jones futures were down by 104 points or 0.2%. S&P 500 futures also declined by 0.2% and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 0.3%.
The Dow Jones index jumped about 150 points yesterday, surpassing its highest level since mid-August of this year. However, it has not reached yearly levels yet. The S&P 500 Index gained 0.4% increasing for the sixth day in a row. The index closed 0.2% below its all-time high.
Investors continue to closely monitor this year's third-quarter reporting season to estimate earnings growth and to understand how pricing pressures and supply chain disruptions will affect earnings for the rest of the year. According to Refinitiv, among the 70 companies in the S&P 500, 86% reported earnings exceeding analysts' expectations.
Strong fundamental data on the US labor market are expected today. It may show a decline in the Unemployment Claims index for the sixth week in a row. Even if the weak data is released, nothing will spoil investor sentiment more than a new wave of COVID-19. The US may not be as seriously affected like European countries, but the fact that another strain of coronavirus, which is more contagious than the Delta variant, has emerged indicates that there are serious problems ahead for the health sector this winter. The new strain may push the risks of a pandemic to a higher level, which could weaken Wall Street's appetite for stocks later in the year.
So far, the market is performing well, and a small downward correction after the weekly rally will not hurt it for sure. Before we talk about the technical picture, let us look through the premarket and see what caused the major impact there and what the news was.
IBM shares lost more than 4% in the premarket trading after the news of revenue shortfalls in the third quarter. Two major business segments: global services and the cloud and cognitive software business failed to meet the estimates of economists and investors.
Tesla shares slipped about 1% during the premarket trading even after the electric car maker reported record earnings and revenue in the third quarter. All the data exceeded economists' forecasts. For sure, the company's stock, which had been pushed up even before the report was released, was clearly overvalued by the market.
AT&T gained 1.5% in the premarket trading after a report showed the company outperformed economists' earnings estimates by 9 cents. The revenues were also above analysts' forecasts. The company noted fairly strong demand for its phone and Internet services, as well as HBO and HBO Max.
Crocs reported an increase of 11.1% in its stock during the premarket trading after adjusted quarterly earnings of $2.47 per share, compared with the consensus forecast of $1.88. The shoe maker's revenues also exceeded forecasts, with online sales rising by 69%.
The US Food and Drug Administration cleared Johnson & Johnson and Moderna's Covid-19 vaccine booster shots yesterday. It was an important step in the revaccination of millions of people. Despite this, Moderna shares lost 4.5% in the premarket.
Unilever, one of the world's leaders in the food and household products market, gained 1.3% in the premarket after its quarterly results were reported to be better than expected. The company was able to take advantage of the inflationary spike and raised prices in time to help it offset higher production costs, which had little effect on its revenues.
As for the S&P500 Index technical picture
The index is an inch away from breaking through the yearly high at $4,551. However, first of all, the price has to be above support at $4,512. A pullback below $4,512 may put heavy pressure on the index, which is likely to drag it down to $4,470 and pave the way to $4,428, where there might be more investor activity.