Stocks slipped Thursday after staging a rally following the Federal Reserve’s latest decision on interest rates, with investors looking to earnings results from Apple , the largest public company, later in the day.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average retreated 40 points, or 0.1%, after the index advanced 436 points on Wednesday to close at 32,197. S&P 500 futures signaled a start 0.4% into the red, with the tech-stock-heavy Nasdaq poised to fall 0.9%. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq climbed 2.6% and 4.1%, respectively, in the previous session, with the tech benchmark notching its best day since April 2020.
Stocks surged Wednesday, after the Fed announced it would raise interest rates by 75 basis points, or three-quarters of a percentage point, as the central bank continues to move aggressively to tame inflation at a multidecade high. Markets seemed to take assurance from the Fed’s commitment to fighting inflation and indication that rate hikes could slow down soon.
“While the market rallied Wednesday, we don’t think a sustained improvement in sentiment is likely until the Fed sees enough evidence of ebbing inflation to signal that an end to rate rises is in sight,” said Mark Haefele, the chief investment officer at UBS Global Wealth Management.
Damping some of the post-Fed rally into Thursday were corporate earnings from social-media powerhouse and tech giant Meta Platforms (ticker: META), which missed analysts’ estimates and posted its first ever quarterly decline in sales.
“The company also noted hiring has slowed this year much like its other mega cap brethren,” said Jim Reid, a strategist at Deutsche Bank. “This morning, S&P 500 futures are trading lower, with Meta having taken some shine out of the post-[Fed] glow.”
Big Tech remains in the spotlight Thursday, with earnings from Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) as well as chip maker Intel (INTC). As the largest public company, Apple, in particular, has the ability to influence sentiment in the wider market and drag around the major indexes if investors react strongly to its results.
Recession risks also remain simmering under the surface after the Fed decision. The 75 basis-point increase is the fourth rate hike this year and only the second 75 basis-point increase since 1994, with the first being in June. The concern is that as the Fed continues to raise rates and dent economic demand, it risks plunging the U.S. into an economic slowdown.
Data in the day ahead should go some way to confirming or assuaging those fears, with an initial reading of second-quarter U.S. gross domestic product due. After a -1.6% contraction in the first three months of 2022, a second quarter of negative growth would signal a technical recession. Consensus expectations, however, remain for 0.3% growth in the June quarter.
“U.S. GDP could well print a second negative quarter this evening, but forecasts vary widely. Perversely, a negative print will probably see another stock market rally and U.S. dollar selloff,” said Jeffrey Halley, an analyst at broker Oanda. “I guess you could justify it by saying that financial markets are ‘forward-looking.’”
Here are two stocks on the move Thursday:
Meta (META) slumped 5.5% in U.S. premarket trading, after the social-media group’s disappointing earnings and a third-quarter outlook that was significantly below Wall Street’s estimates. The company expects revenue between $26 billion and $28.5 billion in the third quarter, while analysts’ consensus forecast was $30.7 billion in sales, as Meta continues to grapple with a tough advertising environment and increasing competition from TikTok.
Teladoc Health (TDOC) tumbled 23% in the premarket, as the remote healthcare provider posted a wider-than-expected quarterly loss of $3.1 billion, or $19.22 per share, after recording a $3 billion impairment charge.
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