Thursday July 7th


Stock futures are higher following third straight day of gains for the S&P 500

U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher on Thursday morning as Wall Street looked to build on a modest winning streak. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures ticked up by 158 points, or 0.51%. S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.38% and 0.43%, respectively. The S&P 500 on Wednesday posted its first 3-day winning streak since late May. The benchmark is on pace for its second positive week in 3 and now sits about 20% off its record high. Chipmakers were higher in premarket trading after South Korea’s Samsung posted an 11% jump in profit and 21% surge in revenue for the latest period on strong sales of memory chips. Shares of Micron, AMD and Nvidia were all higher in premarket trading by more than 1%. Another notable early mover was GameStop, which popped 9% in premarket trading after the video game retailer said a 4-for-1 stock split was approved by its board. Shareholders at the market close on July 18 will get a dividend of three additional shares for each of GameStop’s Class A common stock, the retailer said. The dividend will be distributed after trading closes on July 21. On Wednesday, the S&P 500 posted its third straight day of gains following the release of the June meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve. The broader market index added nearly 0.4%. Meanwhile, the Dow gained more than 69 points, or 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite rose close to 0.4%. Central bank officials reiterated a tough stance against inflation, saying another 50- or 75-basis point move would “likely be appropriate” at the July 26-27 meeting. Still, many investors found it challenging to trust those gains as recession concerns continue to loom on Wall Street, and as market participants looked ahead to what many expect will be a volatile earnings season this month. “Everybody is both emotionally and sort of market level exhausted,” Alli McCartney, managing director at UBS Private Wealth Management, said Wednesday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell.” “So, I think we still have a summer of watching for what the Fed does, watching for what happens in international policy, watching for the directionality of CPI.” On the economic front, initial jobless claims and continuing claims both ticked up slightly last week. The U.S. trade deficit for May came in slightly higher than expected at $85.5 billion but was still down month over month. The Labor Department’s official jobs report is due out on Friday. “With anecdotes of Tech sector layoffs and hiring freezes, sub-50 readings in the Employment Components of the most recent ISM Manufacturing and Services surveys, and rising unemployment claims (albeit from extremely low levels), Friday’s Jobs report will hold particular significance,” Credit Suisse chief U.S. equity strategist Jonathan Golub said in a note to clients. Meanwhile, Levi Strauss is set to report earnings Thursday after the bell. Asia-Pacific markets were mostly higher on Thursday as investors watch for market reaction to the latest Fed minutes. In South Korea, the Kospi advanced 1.84% to 2,334.27 after closing more than 2% lower on Wednesday, and the Kosdaq climbed around 1.79% to 757.97. Japan’s Nikkei 225 gained 1.47% to close at 26,490.53, and the Topix index rose 1.42% to 1,882.33. Mainland China markets were higher. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.27% to 3,364.40, and the Shenzhen Component climbed 0.972% to 12,935.85. Both indexes fell on Wednesday as Covid concerns came back into focus. Beijing city said Covid vaccinations would be required to enter sports centers, entertainment venues and more starting next week. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index recovered from losses to trade around the flatline in its final hour of the session. Oil prices rose on Thursday, despites fears of a potential global recession spurring concerns about oil demand. Brent crude futures added 46 cents to trade at $101.15 per barrel after tumbling to a session low of $98.50 earlier. WTI crude futures added 61 cents to trade at $99.14 per barrel. Both benchmarks closed on Wednesday at their lowest since April 11. The declines follow a dramatic fall on Tuesday despite tight global supplies. WTI slid 8% while Brent tumbled 9% — a $10.73 drop that was the third biggest for the contract since it started trading in 1988. Gold prices edged up on Thursday as the dollar eased slightly and some investors scooped up bargains after sharp losses in the previous two sessions. Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,741.75 per ounce by 0843 GMT. Gold prices have fallen over $300 since March after the U.S. Federal Reserve raised interest rates to rein in soaring inflation, increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion. U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% to $1,739.80.