Monday May 2nd


Stock futures fall after the Nasdaq posts worst month since 2008

U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Monday morning after the Nasdaq Composite Index posted its worst month since 2008, pressured by rising rates, rampant inflation and underwhelming earnings from some of the largest technology companies. Futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 30 points, or 0.1%. S&P 500 futures were shed 0.4%, while Nasdaq 100 futures dipped 0.6%. The major averages sank on Friday, accelerating April’s losses. The Dow dropped 939 points during the session, bringing its loss last week to roughly 2.5%. It was the 30-stock benchmark’s fifth-straight negative week. The S&P 500 declined 3.63% on Friday, its worst day since June 2020, and posted its fourth-straight negative week for the first time since September 2020. The Nasdaq also posted a fourth-straight week of losses, after falling 4.2% on Friday. Both indexes registered their lowest closing levels of the year. “As we turn the calendar to May, we may see a short-term oversold bounce, however, we still have several reasons for concern. We believe our longer-term equity indicators are not yet oversold enough to have a high conviction ‘Buy’ call. We also believe managers have started to re-price stocks using recession like multiples. If that is the case, we are still over-valued,” MKM Partners chief market technician JC O’Hara said in a note clients. The Dow and S&P 500 are coming off their worst month since March 2020, when the pandemic took hold. The Dow finished April 4.9% lower, while the S&P tanked 8.8%. The selling was even more extreme in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite, which plunged 13.26% in April, its worst month since October 2008. The steep decline follows underperformance from large tech companies, including Amazon, Netflix and Meta Platforms. “Disappointing guidance from technology giants Amazon and Apple have exacerbated concern that a decidedly more hawkish Fed, coupled with still intractable supply chain issues, and rising energy prices may make the hope of a ‘soft landing’ from the Fed more elusive,” said Quincy Krosby, chief equity strategist for LPL Financial. Netflix fell 49% last month, with Amazon and Meta losing 24% and 10.8%, respectively. Tech stocks have been hit especially hard since their often-elevated valuations and promise of future growth begin to look less attractive in a rising-rate environment. Investors are looking ahead to Wednesday, when the Federal Open Market Committee will issue a statement on monetary policy. The decision will be released at 2 p.m. ET, with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell holding a press conference at 2:30 p.m. “With inflation so high and earnings growth slowing rapidly, stocks no longer provide the inflation hedge many investors are counting on. Real earnings yield tends to lead real stock returns on a y/y basis by about 6 months. It suggests we have meaningful downside at the index level as investors figure this out,” Morgan Stanley equity strategist Michael Wilson said in a note to clients. Another key economic indicator will come Friday when April’s jobs report is released. Earnings season is now more than halfway finished, but a number of companies are set to post results in the coming week, including a host of consumer-focused restaurant and travel companies. Expedia, MGM Resorts, Pfizer, Airbnb, Starbucks, Lyft, Marriott, Yum Brands, Uber eBay and TripAdvisor are just some of the names on deck. Of the 275 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, 80% have beat earnings estimates with 73% topping revenue expectations, according to data from Refinitiv. Shares in Asia-Pacific slipped on Monday, with data released over the weekend showing Chinese factory activity contracted in April. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 closed 0.11% lower as shares of robot maker Fanuc dropped 2.26%. The Topix index dipped fractionally to 1,898.35. Elsewhere, South Korea’s Kospi finished the trading day 0.28% lower at 2,687.45. Markets in Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore and Taiwan are closed on Monday for a holiday. Oil prices fell on Monday as concerns over weak economic growth in China, the world’s top oil importer, overshadowed fears supply might be crimped by a potential European Union ban on Russian crude. Brent crude futures were down $3.23, or 3%, to $103.91 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $3.41, or 3.2%, to $101.28 a barrel. Gold prices slipped 1% toward 2-1/2-month lows on Monday as investors braced for a large interest rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve, as it seeks to contain soaring inflation, denting the zero-yield bullion’s appeal. Spot gold fell 0.9% to $1,880.01 per ounce by 1000 GMT, hovering near last week’s low of $1,871.81 an ounce. U.S. gold futures dropped 1.6% to $1,880.70.