Wednesday February 2nd


Nasdaq futures jump more than 1% after Alphabet pops on strong earnings

Nasdaq futures jumped in early trading Wednesday, after the technology-focused average gained for a third straight day. Futures tied to the index rose 1.3%, while Dow futures were up 50 points, or 0.1%, and S&P 500 futures gained a more robust 0.7%. Tech stocks, which led the market sell-off in January, also led the rebound over the past three trading sessions as investors refocused their attention on earnings season, as big tech names continued reporting strong quarterly results and forward guidance. Google-parent Alphabet jumped about 10% in premarket trading after the company’s quarterly results beat on the top and bottom lines. Alphabet also announced a 20-for-1 stock split, indicating the company might soon be included on the Dow Jones Industrial Average as well. Chip stock Advanced Micro Devices also gained 14.5% on strong earnings. PayPal tanked 17% after hours after issuing disappointing guidance. Elsewhere, General Motors shares rose 2.6% premarket after the automaker reported earnings that beat estimates and raised its 2022 forecast, though revenue came up light. Starbucks dipped 2.7% following its results. On the economic front, private payroll data fell by 301,000 for the month of January, which was down from December’s growth of 807,000 private payrolls, ADP reported Wednesday. Economists polled by Dow Jones were expecting 200,000 private jobs were added in January. On Tuesday, the major averages rose for a third day as stocks attempted a comeback from their tumultuous January where the S&P 500 has its worst month since March 2020. The Dow added more than 270 points, helped by a 4.1% gain in Boeing. The S&P 500 also registered a gain, climbing 0.7%. Bank stocks were some of the best performers Tuesday. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.75% as investors await key technology earnings after the bell and throughout the week. “The market has strung together a few solid up days,” said Jim Paulsen, Leuthold Group chief investment strategist. “This strong showing is causing more investors to wonder if the correction is over and raising concerns that they could miss out on a nice post-correction rally.” Earnings season continues on Wednesday with key reporting from Meta Platforms, formerly Facebook, and Qualcomm. AbbVie, D.R. Horton and T-Mobile also report earnings on Wednesday. So far this earnings season, more than 36% of the S&P 500 has reported and more than 78% have topped Wall Street’s expectations. “While the earnings season began with some disappointments last week, it has become more solid in recent days,” added Paulsen. The major averages are coming off of a volatile month, mainly spurred by a pivot in the Federal Reserve. However, some Fed members have have offered reassuring commentary that they do not want their pending rate hikes to disturb the financial markets and that few see any appetite for a 50 basis point hike. Shares in Asia-Pacific rose on Wednesday, with multiple major markets in Asia remaining closed for the Lunar New Year holidays. The Nikkei 225 in Japan gained 1.68% to close at 27,533.60 while the Topix index advanced 2.14% to 1,936.56. Markets in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea were closed on Wednesday for the Lunar New Year holidays. Oil prices rose on Wednesday towards last week’s seven-year highs after data showing a fall in U.S. crude stocks underlined solid demand, but investors remained cautious ahead of an OPEC+ meeting due later in the day. Brent crude climbed 36 cents, or 0.4%, to $89.52 a barrel, before pulling back. The contract last traded 10 cents lower at $89.06 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 12 cents, or 0.14%, at $88.32 a barrel, having gained 5 cents the previous day. Gold was steady on Wednesday above the $1,800 psychological level as concerns surrounding Ukraine supported the safe-haven metal, while investors awaited U.S. jobs data that is considered key for the Federal Reserve’s tapering timeline. Spot gold held its ground at $1,801.25 per ounce, as of 0102 GMT. In the previous session, bullion touched $1,805.43 as investment demand strengthened, with a weak U.S. dollar and Treasury yields offering further support. U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,801.10.