Sunday, 28 Nov 2021

S&P, Nasdaq futures scale new heights on earnings bullishness

(Reuters) – Futures tracking the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes hit a record high on Friday, boosted by a batch of strong earnings reports and Pfizer, while investors looked to monthly employment data for clues on the pace of economic growth.

FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Pfizer Inc jumped 8.3% in pre-market trading after the drugmaker’s experimental antiviral pill for COVID-19 cut by 89% the chances of hospitalization or death for adults at risk of developing severe disease.

Shares of Merck slipped 7.8%.

Travel stocks rose following the news, with American Airline, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, cruise operators Carnival Corp and Norwegian Cruise rising between 2% and 3.4%.

Among earnings moves, Expedia group jumped 12.3% after the online travel agency posted upbeat third-quarter revenue on a rebound in travel demand.

Microchip Technology added 3.7% as brokerages raised their price targets on the chipmaker’s stock on its upbeat third-quarter outlook.

That also boosted shares of industry peer Nvidia Corp, which climbed 2.7%. The stock was set to add to the near 17% rally in the previous session.

Pinterest Inc climbed 4.6% after the image-sharing company expects fourth-quarter revenue growth in the high-teens percentage range as retail ad spending boomed before the holiday season.

A stellar third-quarter reporting season, coupled with cheery outlook on earnings growth as well as a central bank in no rush to hike interest rates, has boosted investor appetite for equities, helping them look past worries about inflation, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages.

Focus is now on the Labor Department’s closely watched nonfarm payrolls report at 08:30 am ET, which will likely show U.S. job growth accelerated in October helped by subsiding COVID-19 infections, although worker shortages persisted.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq notched record high closes for sixth straight sessions on Thursday as investors digested the Federal Reserve’s decision to start reducing its monthly bond purchases.

Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on Friday on the social policy and climate-change bill and a bipartisan infrastructure bill.

At 07:14 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 33 points, or 0.09%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 11 points, or 0.24%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 52.25 points, or 0.32%.

Mega-cap technology stocks, Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp and Google-owner Alphabet Inc moved higher, while Big banks rebounded from a sharp fall in the previous session.

Peloton Interactive Inc sank 32.4% after it slashed its full-year sales outlook by up to $1 billion.

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