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Friday, December 2, 2022
Stocks & Shares

U.S. equity futures edge lower as Covid concerns return

Dow Jones

Equity futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) suggest a 22 point drop, with a 4 point pullback priced in to the broader S&P 500

U.S. equity futures edged lower in early Wednesday trading, following the first back-to-back declines in more than a month, as stock markets struggled to find direction amid rising Covid cases in Asia and impressive corporate earnings growth in Europe and North America.

Safe-haven moves into the U.S. dollar, which jumped from a seven-week low to 91.327 against a basket of major currencies, and declining benchmark Treasury bond yields suggest investors are being cautious on risk as infections surge in Asia and South America.

In the U.S., accelerating vaccine rollouts, which have allowed more than 213 million American to receive at least one dose of either the Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson treatment, lofty corporate earnings and improving labour markets have taken stocks to record highs, but recent pullbacks are likely to persist until authorities can fully address the pandemic in developing economies around the world.

Equity futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) suggest a 22 point drop at the start of trading Wednesday, with a 4 point pullback priced in to the broader S&P 500.

Nasdaq Composite futures, meanwhile, are looking at a 40 point fall after last night’s Q1 earnings update from Netflix, which showed a surprise slowdown in subscriber growth that sent shares of the streaming entertainment service down 11% in after-hours trading.

In Europe, stocks bounced back from their worst session of the year Tuesday with a 0.4% gain on stronger-than-expected earnings from semiconductor equipment maker ASML Holding, which boosted its full-year profit forecast on the basis of improving demand for its $120 million EUV lithography machines.

Overnight in Asia, stocks were caught in the downdraft of last night’s sell-off on Wall Street, as well as Japan’s move to invoke emergency orders and travel restrictions amid resurgence in Covid infections.

The Nikkei 225 finished the session 2.03% down at 28,508.55 points, while the region-wide MSCI ex-Japan index declined 1.15% heading into the final hours of trading.


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