U.S. Futures Edge Lower; Corporate Earnings Ramp Up

U.S. Futures Edge Lower; Corporate Earnings Ramp Up

U.S. stocks are seen opening marginally lower Tuesday, continuing January’s weak tone as investors cautiously await the release of more important corporate earnings.

At 7 AM ET (1200 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 75 points, or 0.2%, S&P 500 Futures traded 15 points, or 0.3%, lower and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 40 points, or 0.3%.

The major Wall Street indices suffered hefty losses in January as investors adjusted to a hawkish policy shift from the Federal Reserve, implying as many as six interest rates this year to combat inflation currently running at 40-year highs.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 3.3% in January, while the broad-based S&P 500 dropped 5.3% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slumped 9%, their worst months since March 2020.

Fed policymakers were out in force on Monday, indicating that interest rates would rise in March, but they also tried to rein in expectations of a 50 basis point hike this quarter.

Still, there remains a degree of caution ahead of a flurry of corporate earnings, which could set the tone for February. Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) and United Parcel Service (NYSE: UPS) delivered numbers before the bell, while the likes of Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL), General Motors (NYSE: GM), Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX), AMD, and PayPal (NASDAQ: PYPL) will report after the bell.

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) will also be in the spotlight after the electric car manufacturer said it would recall over 50,000 U.S. vehicles with its Full Self-Driving software over safety worries.

Additionally, FedEx (NYSE: FDX) has suspended its domestic express freight services due to staff shortages as cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus rise. At the same time, AT&T (NYSE: T) said it would cut its dividend after spinning off WarnerMedia in a $43 billion transaction to merge its media properties with Discovery (NASDAQ: DISCA).

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index heads the data calendar Tuesday, but the December JOLTS jobs openings will also be studied ahead of Friday’s January non-farm payrolls report. Economists forecast that the economy added 155,000 jobs, slowing from 199,000 in December as the Omicron variant hit.

Oil prices edged lower Tuesday, just below last week’s seven-year highs, following reports quoting sources close to OPEC and seeing the global market surplus by over 1 million barrels a day this year.

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The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, a group known as OPEC+, is meeting on Wednesday to discuss future production levels. 

The American Petroleum Institute releases its weekly inventory data later in the session.

By 7 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.4% lower at $87.83 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.4% to $88.90. Both benchmarks hit their highest levels since October 2014 on Friday.

Additionally, gold futures rose 0.6% to $1,805.70/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.3% higher at 1.1271. -- Investing.com 

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