Asia Stocks to Open Mixed; Tech Lifts U.S. Futures: Markets Wrap

Asian stocks looked set for a muted start to the final trading day of the month, while earnings from technology giants boosted U.S. equity futures. Treasuries rose and the dollar slipped.

Futures dipped in Japan and Australia, and were flat in Hong Kong. Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., and Facebook Inc. jumped in after-hours trading as results beat Wall Street estimates, lifting futures on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100. Earlier Thursday, American equities closed lower as data showed the U.S. economy had its sharpest contraction on record, while the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose. President Donald Trump raised the notion of delaying the Nov. 3 election until after the coronavirus pandemic eases.

As earnings continue to roll in, investors mulled figures that highlighted the massive economic devastation caused by the pandemic. While some numbers have improved after the reopenings, the recent spike in infections shows that the recovery will most likely take time. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday that there are signs the increase in cases is starting to weigh on activity, while noting that the path forward for the economy is “extraordinarily uncertain.”

“It’s shocking no matter how you look at it,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Schwab Center for Financial Research. “The virus is getting worse in a lot of areas, and some places have started to shut back down again. If you look at earnings in terms of beat rates, the results have actually been pretty good, granted the expectations bar has been set very low.”

Elsewhere, oil clawed back some of its retreat seen in the wake of the weak U.S. economic data.

Here are some key events coming up:

  • Results from Chevron Corp. and Caterpillar Inc. are due Friday.
  • China PMI data comes Friday.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

Stocks

  • Futures on the S&P 500 rose 0.5% as of 7:12 a.m. in Tokyo, while Nasdaq 100 futures gained 1%. The S&P 500 earlier decreased 0.4%.
  • Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.2%.
  • Hang Seng futures were little changed.
  • Futures on Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index declined 0.5%.

Currencies

  • The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index decreased 0.2%.
  • The euro bought $1.1846.
  • The yen was at 104.75 per dollar.
  • The offshore yuan traded at 7.0033 per dollar.

Bonds

  • The yield on 10-year Treasuries declined three basis points to 0.55%.

Commodities

  • West Texas Intermediate crude added 1.4% to $40.45 a barrel.
  • Gold was at $1,956.81 an ounce, little changed.

— With assistance by Rita Nazareth, Katherine Greifeld, and Claire Ballentine

Source: Read Full Article