Market Snapshot: U.S. stock futures dip as Fed decision, Apple results and jobs data loom


U.S. stock index futures were easing lower Tuesday as traders eyed earnings reports, the looming Federal Reserve monetary policy decision on Wednesday, and monthly employment data on Friday.

How are stock-index futures trading
  • S&P 500 futures ES00, -0.24% dipped 9 points, or 0.2%, to 4,176
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YM00, -0.29% fell 84 points, or 0.2%, to 34,068
  • Nasdaq 100 futures NQ00, -0.09% dropped 11 points, or 0.09%, to 13,295

On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.14% fell 46 points, or 0.14%, to 34052, the S&P 500 SPX, -0.04% declined 2 points, or 0.04%, to 4168, and the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.11% dropped 14 points, or 0.11%, to 12213.

What’s driving markets

Investors were wary ahead of likely market-moving events over the next few days. The Federal Reserve will deliver its monetary policy decision on Wednesday when it is expected to announce a 25 basis point rate hike to a range of 5% to 5.25%.

Apple AAPL, -0.05%, the U.S. market’s biggest company, will release its earnings on Thursday, and the April nonfarm payrolls report will be published on Friday.

Ahead of all those potential catalysts, the S&P 500 index sits near the top of the 3,800 to 4,200 range it has inhabited for about six months.

“This coming week is arguably the most critical to our positive equity thesis in 2023. The S&P 500 is up 9% year-to-date and has been in a solid uptrend since the Oct 12, 2022 lows (S&P 500 3,491), posting gains 5 of the last 7 months and up two consecutive quarters,” said Tom Lee, head of research at Fundstrat, in a note published at the start of the week.

“This means there is ‘good news’ priced into equities. But we think this coming week could represent the ‘make or break’ moment for our view and for those bearish/cautious on markets,” Lee added.

Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research, said that the market had been helped by better-than-expected company results — but that it may later struggle given overdue optimism about earnings in coming quarters.

Of the 53% of S&P 500 companies that have released their results by the start of the week, 79% beat earnings expectations, which is better than the 1-, 5- and 10-year averages, he said.

“The combination of a good Q1 earnings season and slightly higher estimates certainly explains why the S&P 500 is within 0.2 percent of a 6-month high. We still believe estimates for the back half of 2023 and 2024 are too high; it is hard to believe the S&P 500 will be printing all-time record quarterly earnings in Q4 2023,” Colas added.

Companies presenting their results on Tuesday include Pfizer PFE, +0.82%, Uber UBER, +5.44%, and after the close, Advanced Micro Devices AMD, +0.36%, Starbucks SBUX, +0.24%, and Ford F, +1.52%.

U.S. economic updates set for release on Tuesday include March job openings and March factory orders, both due at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Companies in focus
  • Uber Technologies Inc. shares were markedly higher in premarket trading on the heels of earnings results. The company offered an upbeat outlook and a loss of 8 cents per share, which was smaller than the 9-cent per share loss that analysts expected. “We are focused on extending our product, scale and platform advantages to sustain market-leading top and bottom-line growth beyond 2023,” CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement.
  • Pfizer Inc. shares were higher in the premarket after the release of its first quarter earnings. While profit and revenue fell, they both beat consensus. Putting aside nonrecurring items, the drug maker’s $1.23 adjusted earnings per share beat FactSet expectations of 98 cents.

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