U.S. stock futures were largely flat on Wednesday as investors awaited the next round of earnings reports and a clutch of data, including retail sales.How are stock-index futures trading
S&P 500 futures
rose 1.2 points to 4010
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures
siupped 25 points to 33995
Nasdaq 100 futures
rose 1.5 points to 11626
On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 392 points, or 1.14%, to 33911, the S&P 500
declined 8 points, or 0.2%, to 3991, and the Nasdaq Composite
gained 16 points, or 0.14%, to 11095.
What’s driving markets Investors are awaiting the next batch of U.S. fourth-quarter corporate earnings. Futures have steadied after a burst of volatility late on Tuesday when the Bank of Japan surprised traders by leaving its monetary policy unchanged, sparking a slide in the yen
and Japanese government bond yields
alongside a jump in the Nikkei 225
stock benchmark. U.S. companies reporting on Wednesday include Charles Schwab
The S&P 500 index is up 3.95% so far this year on hopes easing inflation will allow the Federal Reserve to be less aggressive in its monetary tightening cycle, making an economic hard landing less likely and thus supporting company earnings. So far, with 33 of the S&P 500 having reported, 67% of those have beaten profit forecasts, according to Refinitiv. However, high profile disappointments, from the likes of Goldman Sachs on Tuesday, are making it difficult for the S&P 500 to move decisively above the 4,000 level. Technical factors, such as the CBOE Volatility index, or VIX
below 20, suggesting complacency, and a high proportion of stocks looking overbought, may also constrain the latest rally, according to Mark Newton, head of technical strategy at Fundstrat. “Given that the VIX is showing a similar potential area of confluence this week while the percentage of SPX issues above their 20-day moving average has gone back above 80, this should bring about a stalling out in U.S. equities by end of week,” Newton wrote in a note to clients.
U.S. economic updates set for release on Wednesday include December retail sales and the producer price index at 8:30 a.m.. Industrial production and capacity utilization for December will be published at 9:15 a.m.. The NAHB home builders’ index for January is due at 10 a.m. alongside November business inventories. The Fed is back in focus, too, with its Beige Book of economic anecdotes published at 2 p.m. and Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker speaking at 3:15 p.m. followed by Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan making comments at 5 p.m.. All times Eastern.