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U.S. Futures Mixed; Federal Reserve, Big Tech Stocks in Focus

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By Peter Nurse   

Investing.com - U.S. stocks are seen opening mixed Wednesday, with the Nasdaq Composite likely to outperform after strong earnings from a number of tech giants ahead of the conclusion of the latest Federal Reserve meeting.

At 7:05 AM ET (1105 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 50 points, or 0.2%, while S&P 500 Futures traded 2 points, or 0.1%, higher and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 20 points, or 0.2%.

Jitters over the Chinese government’s regulatory clampdown continue to dog global equity markets, while the decision of the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention to change its advice over vaccinated people wearing masks indoors has also weighed.

However, this week is set to be the busiest of the corporate earnings season, and investors will be focusing on the results from a number of influential tech companies after the close Tuesday.

Google parent Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) reported record-breaking quarterly sales and profits, with these companies, who have been behind a lot of the gains the equity indices have posted over the last year, recording combined profits of $57 billion.

Alphabet was the star, with net income rising more than two-and-a-half times to $18.52 billion, boosted by heavy online spending by customers wary of stepping out into the public during the pandemic. 

Microsoft was boosted by stronger-than-expected revenue growth at its Azure Cloud computing service, while Apple benefitted from consumers purchasing more of its premium 5G phones. 

Elsewhere, Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) beat overall expectations on strong U.S. growth, but the coffee chain offered up a less optimistic outlook for revenues in China, its largest overseas market.

The earnings deluge continues Wednesday, with quarterly results from the likes of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD), Ford (NYSE:F), PayPal (NASDAQ:PYPL) and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) scheduled to be released Wednesday.  

Away from earnings, the Federal Reserve concludes its latest two-day policy meeting later Wednesday, releasing a statement at 2 PM ET (1800 GMT), and investors will be looking for potential new guidance on the path of interest rates and bond purchases.

Elsewhere, oil prices rose Wednesday, boosted by an industry report which showed a decline in U.S. crude stocks, suggesting healthy demand in the world’s largest consumer.

U.S. crude oil supply data released on Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute showed a draw of 4.7 million barrels for the week ended July 23, after a build of 806,000 barrels the previous week.

Investors now await official numbers data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration later in the day to see if this fall is confirmed.

At 7:05 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.4% higher at $71.95 a barrel, while the Brent contract rose 0.4% to $73.78.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,797.65/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% lower at 1.1805.

 

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