U.S. futures largely lower; earnings from Microsoft, Alphabet in focus

U.S. futures largely lower; earnings from Microsoft, Alphabet in focus
© Reuters

Investing.com — U.S. stock futures traded largely lower Wednesday, handing back some of the previous session’s gains as investors digest quarterly earnings from both Microsoft and Alphabet (NASDAQ:).

By 06:30 ET (10:30 GMT), the contract was up 20 points, or 0.1%, while traded 15 points, or 0.4%, lower and dropped 80 points, or 0.5%.

The main indices on Wall Street closed higher Tuesday, as U.S. Treasury yields eased off their Monday highs, helping to reduce the pressure on the tech sector, in particular. 

The tech-heavy rose 0.9%, while the broad-based gained 0.7% and the blue chip 0.6%.

Microsoft, Alphabet earnings in focus

Tech giants Microsoft (NASDAQ:) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:) started the ball rolling for the major tech sector, the group that has powered the majority of the S&P 500’s 10% gains year-to-date, releasing their results after Tuesday’s close,

Alphabet’s cloud-based revenue fell short of analysts’ expectations, pushing its stock down more than 6% premarket, while Microsoft shares rose just under 4% after its investment in artificial intelligence bolstered growth in its cloud business Azure.

Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:) takes the spotlight after the close Wednesday, and analysts will be listening for updates on the Facebook and Instagram parent’s efficiency efforts and advertising business.

Boeing (NYSE:) will also be in focus, and the airplane maker is expected to report another loss, with analysts listening for updates on production and delivery.

Housing data leads economic data slate

The economic data slate is largely empty Wednesday, with only September’s and numbers due, providing insight into the country’s housing market.

Tuesday saw the release of a surprisingly strong snapshot of U.S. business activity, ahead of this week’s reports on third quarter , due out on Thursday, and September inflation in the form of the . 

The meets next week, and is widely expected to pause its interest rate hiking cycle while its members digest the strength of the economy.

Oil slip on worries over European demand

Crude prices edged lower Wednesday, trading near two-week lows as concerns about slowing European demand competed with worries of Middle East supply disruptions for attention.

By 06:30 ET, the futures traded 0.3% lower at $83.47 a barrel, while the contract dropped 0.2% to $87.92 a barrel.

The benchmarks fell about 2% in the previous session following the release of weak from the eurozone, suggesting this important oil-consuming region is heading towards recession, which could in turn hit demand for crude. 

The prospect of a deescalation in the Israel-Hamas war also stymied bets that the conflict will disrupt Middle Eastern oil supply, as multiple reports suggested that Israel had delayed a planned ground assault on Gaza. 

This largely overshadowed positive economic news from the U.S., as well as data from the industry body showing that U.S. inventories shrank more than 2 million barrels last week, with fuel demand remaining strong even after the end of the summer season.

The official data from the , the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Energy, is due later in the session.

(Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)


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