Friday August 13th


Stock futures inch higher after S&P 500 closes at a record, Disney shares jump

U.S. stock index futures inched higher on Friday as the S&P 500 seeks to end a winning week on a high note. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 50 points. S&P 500 futures added 0.1% and Nasdaq 100 futures were slightly in the green. Shares of Disney jumped more than 5% in premarket trading after the media and theme park giant reported blowout fiscal third-quarter earnings, crushing Wall Street expectations on Disney+ subscriber growth and overall revenue and earnings. The blue-chip Dow and the S&P 500 are on track to close out a winning week after gaining 0.8% and 0.6%, respectively, through Thursday. Both are at record highs. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite underperformed this week, down 0.1%. Investors digested mixed economic data on Thursday. Weekly jobless claims came in at 375,000 last week, matching estimates and declining for a third straight week. Meanwhile, the producer price index, excluding volatile food, trade services and energy components, rose 0.9% last month versus a forecast for a 0.5% gain. “The hot PPI/home price figures took some of the sheen off the Wed CPI-induced ‘inflation has peaked party’ and this spurred very modest profit taking in cyclical groups following two days of outperformance,” Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge, said in a note. Stocks are rising to records on the back of a stellar earnings season. The year-over-year earnings growth is expected to be 92.9%, according to Refinitiv. So far about 90% of the S&P 500 companies have handed in their quarterly report, and about 88% of them beat earnings estimates from Wall Street analysts, according to Refinitiv. Airbnb shares fell 4% after the travel company issued a warning about volatility due to the Covid delta variant. South Korean and Taiwanese stocks led losses among major Asia-Pacific markets in Friday trade, with shares of firms related to conglomerate Samsung falling. The broader Kospi in South Korea closed 1.16% lower at 3,171.29 while the Taiex in Taiwan dropped 1.38% to finish the trading day at 16,982.11. Elsewhere, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index slipped about 0.7%, as of its final hour of trading. Mainland Chinese stocks were also lower as the Shanghai composite dipped 0.24% to close at 3,516.30 while the Shenzhen component declined 0.691% to finish the trading day at 14,799.03. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed 0.14% lower at 27,977.15 while the Topix index advanced 0.15% to finish the trading day at 1,956.39. Oil prices fell for a second day on Friday after the International Energy Agency warned that demand growth for crude and its products had slowed sharply as surging COVID-19 cases worldwide forced governments to revive movement restrictions. Brent crude was down 58 cents, or 0.8%, at $70.73 a barrel by 0630 GMT, after dropping 13 cents in the previous session. U.S. crude was off by 65 cents, or 0.9%, at $68.44 a barrel, having fallen 0.2% on Thursday. The benchmarks are little changed this week. Gold prices climbed on Friday on concerns over rising cases of the Delta variant, although uncertainties over the U.S. Federal Reserve’s tapering timeline kept bullion on course for a weekly drop. Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,755.90 per ounce by 0832 GMT. However, it was down 0.4% for the week, after last week’s U.S. jobs report boosted early tapering expectations and sent bullion prices to a four-month low on Monday. U.S. gold futures gained 0.4% to $1,758.40.