Disappointing Earnings News May Weigh on US Stocks
By Investors Hub
The major U.S. index futures are pointing to a lower opening on Friday following the mixed performance seen in the previous session. Negative sentiment may be generated in reaction to the latest batch of earnings news, including disappointing results from Amazon (AMZN).
Concerns about the latest developments in Washington may also weigh on the markets after Republicans failed in their latest attempt to repeal Obamacare.
The so-called “skinny repeal” failed by a vote of 49 to 51, with three Republican Senators joining with Democrats to stop the bill.
In U.S. economic news, the Commerce Department released a report showing that economic activity increased in line with economist estimates in the second quarter.
After an initial move to the upside, stocks turned mixed over the course of the trading session on Thursday. While the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 pulled back into negative territory, the Dow reached a new record closing high.
The Dow rose 85.54 points or 0.4 percent to 21,796.55, but the Nasdaq fell 40.56 points or 0.6 percent to 6,382.19 and the S&P 500 edged down 2.41 points or 0.1 percent to 2,475.42.
The early strength on Wall Street reflected a positive reaction to earnings news from some big-name companies, with Verizon (VZ) and Facebook (FB) moving notably higher.
However, traders took the opportunity to cash in on some of the recent strength in the markets, dragging the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 lower after they reached record intraday highs.
On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department released a report before the start of trading showing a substantial increase in durable goods orders in the month of June.
The Commerce Department said durable goods orders spiked by 6.5 percent in June after edging down by a revised 0.1 percent in May.
Economists had expected durable goods orders to surge up by 3.0 percent compared to the 1.1 percent drop originally reported for the previous month.
Excluding a jump in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders edged up by 0.2 percent in June after climbing by 0.6 percent in May. Ex-transportation orders had been expected to rise by 0.4 percent.
Meanwhile, a separate report from the Labor Department showed that initial jobless claims rose by more than expected in the week ended July 22nd.
The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 244,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 234,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 241,000.
Airline stocks have moved sharply lower on the day, dragging the NYSE Arca Airline Index down by 3.4 percent. With the drop, the index fell to its lowest closing level in over two months.
Southwest Airlines (LUV) posted a notable loss despite reporting second quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates.
Considerable weakness was also visible among trucking and railroad stocks, with the Dow Jones Trucking Index and the Dow Jones Railroads Index slumping by 3.2 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.
Biotechnology, semiconductor, and software stocks also showed notable moves to the downside over the course of the session, while strength was visible among energy and telecom stocks.