Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Futures contracts tied to the major U.S. stock indexes ticked higher early morning trade on Thursday after the S&P 500 retreated from record levels during the regular session.
The moves in the overnight session came after the S&P 500 slipped from record levels during Wednesday’s regular session as pressure on tech offset optimism sparked by the first round of major corporate earnings that largely exceeded expectations.
The broad equity benchmark dipped 0.4% after hitting a fresh record early on Wednesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained just 53 points.
The Nasdaq Composite lost about 1% during regular trading as Tesla fell nearly 4%, Netflix and Facebook dropped more than 2% each, and Amazon, Microsoft and Apple all dipped at least 1%.
With the first-quarter earnings season now underway, investors will on Thursday pore over financial results from snack company PepsiCo, asset manager BlackRock and both Citigroup and Bank of America.
The season began in earnest with bank results on Wednesday, when Goldman Sachs climbed more than 2% after blowing past analysts’ expectations with record first-quarter net profits and revenues on strong performance from the firm’s equities trading and investment banking units.
JPMorgan Chase also topped forecasts on the top and bottom lines, helped by a $5.2 billion benefit from releasing money it had previously set aside for loan losses. Bank stocks have climbed across the board this year, with the S&P 500 financials sector up nearly 20% compared to the S&P 500’s 9.8%.
Investors will on Thursday review the Labor Department’s latest report on the number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance. 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.
March retail sales data, also due Thursday morning, are expected show a robust uptick in consumer spending, with some economists seeing a gain of 10% or more thanks to the arrival of the $1,400 stimulus checks. The consensus forecast is more modest growth of 6.1%.
On Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration called for a pause in administering J&J’s Covid-19 vaccine after six people in the U.S. developed a rare disorder involving blood clots. The announcement triggered a sell-off in reopening plays earlier in the week, but is not expected to have a material impact on the pace of the U.S. vaccine rollout.
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