Futures Pointing To Another Mixed Performance On Wall Street

The major U.S. index futures are currently pointing to a mixed open on Friday, as the Dow futures are down by 231 points but the Nasdaq futures are up by 67.25 points.

Renewed Covid-19 concerns may weigh on cyclical stocks as a brutal fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across Europe.

Austria has announced a full national Covid-19 lockdown starting on Monday, while Germany has announced more restrictions on unvaccinated people.

The potential of more European countries reinstating full lockdowns may spark worries the pandemic could once again weigh down the global economy.

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq may benefit from continued strength among technology stocks following some upbeat earnings news.

Shares of Intuit (INTU) are surging in pre-market trading after the financial software firm reported better than expected fiscal first quarter results and raised its full-year revenue guidance.

Cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks (PANW) is also likely to see initial strength after reporting fiscal first quarter results that exceeded analyst estimates on both the top and bottom lines.

On the other hand, shares of Applied Materials (AMAT) may move to the downside after the semiconductor equipment maker reported fiscal fourth quarter results that missed expectations and provided disappointing guidance.

Overall trading activity may be somewhat, however, as a lack of major U.S. economic data may keep some traders on the sidelines.

After ending Wednesday's session modestly lower, the major U.S. stock indexes fluctuated over the course of the trading day on Thursday before closing mixed. Despite the choppy trading, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 reached new record closing highs.

While the Nasdaq climbed 72.14 points or 0.5 percent to 15,993.71 and the S&P 500 rose 15.87 points or 0.3 percent to 4,704.54, the narrower Dow recovered from its early lows but still closed down 60.10 points or 0.2 percent at 35,870.95.

The mixed performance by the major averages came as traders reacted to mixed earnings news from some big-name companies.

Retail stocks saw significant strength on the day following upbeat results from companies like Macy's (M), BJ's Wholesale (BJ) and Kohl's (KSS), driving the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index up by 2.1 percent to a record closing high.

Chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA) also helped to lead the semiconductor sector higher, with the Philadelphia Semiconductor Index jumping by 1.8 percent. The index also reached a new record closing high.

Shares of Nvidia surged up by 8.3 percent after the company reported better than expected third quarter results and provided upbeat guidance.

Meanwhile, a steep drop by Cisco Systems (CSCO) weighed on the Dow, as the networking giant tumbled by 5.5 percent to its lowest closing level in almost four months.

The sell-off by Cisco came after the company reported better than expected fiscal first quarter earnings but provided disappointing guidance.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department released a report showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits were nearly unchanged in the week ended November 13th.

The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 268,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week's revised level of 269,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 260,000 from the 267,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the slight decrease and the revision to the previous week's number, jobless claims once again hit their lowest level since the week ended March 14, 2020.

A separate report released by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia showed a significant acceleration in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in the month of November.

Commodity, Currency Markets

Crude oil futures are plunging $2.42 to $76.59 a barrel after climbing $0.65 to $79.01 a barrel on Thursday. Meanwhile, after falling $8.80 to $1,861.40 an ounce in the previous session, gold futures are inching up $1.40 to $1,862.80 an ounce.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 113.86 yen versus the 114.26 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Thursday. Against the euro, the dollar is valued at $1.1288 compared to yesterday's $1.1371.


Asian stocks ended mixed on Friday after Japan unveiled a record 56 trillion yen, or $490 billion stimulus package, and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba missed revenue and earnings expectations, heightening worries about Beijing's broad regulatory crackdown and slowing growth in the world's second biggest economy.

Chinese shares rallied after reports that Beijing is likely to introduce more tax and fee reductions that could amount to more than 500 billion yuan ($78.31 billion). The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index jumped 39.66 points, or 1.1 percent, to settle at 3,560.37.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slumped 269.75 points, or 1.1 percent, to 25,049.97 after Alibaba Group Holding reported disappointing results, Shares of the e-commerce giant plunged 10.7 percent.

Japanese shares advanced after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced a fresh stimulus package with spending worth around 56 trillion yen ($490 billion).

Investors shrugged off data showing that October consumer inflation eased to an annual 0.1 percent from the previous month's 0.2 percent.

The Nikkei 225 Index rose 147.21 points, or half a percent, to 29,745.87, while the broader Topix closed 0.4 percent higher at 2,044.53.

Chipmaking giants tracked their U.S. peers higher, with Tokyo Electron rallying 3.7 percent. Advantest and Screen Holdings both rose about 1.6 percent after Nvidia beat earnings and sales expectations for the third quarter.

Oil company Inpex Corp. jumped 3.2 percent after a rebound in oil prices. Kubota added 6.2 percent after it agreed to raise its stake in Indian tractor maker Escorts.

SoftBank Group declined 1.9 percent after its largest asset Alibaba Group slashed its forecast for annual revenue growth.

Australian markets eked out modest gains as banks rebounded and U.S.-based investment management company Blackstone launched its third attempt to take over gambling and hotels giant Crown Resorts.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index edged up 17.30 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,396.50, while the broader All Ordinaries Index ended up 16.70 points, or 0.2 percent, at 7,729.90.

Commonwealth Bank rose 0.4 percent after foraying into the cryptocurrency space, but the other three big banks ended with modest losses.

Crown Resorts surged 16.6 percent after Blackstone increased its offer for the troubled casino group. Miners BHP, Fortescue Metals Group and Rio Tinto rose between 0.8 percent and 1.1 percent.

Seoul stocks bounced back as foreign and institutional investors went bargain hunting after three days of losses. The Kospi climbed 23.64 points, or 0.8 percent, to 2,971.02. Tech, auto and bio stocks led the market advance.

Pharmaceutical giant Samsung Biologics spiked over 6 percent after the country registered its highest daily jump in Covid-19 cases since the start of the pandemic.

LG Electronics soared 9 percent after reports that Apple Inc. is accelerating plans for a battery-powered autonomous vehicle within four years.

Producer prices in South Korea were up 0.8 percent month-on-month in October, the Bank of Korea said today, accelerating from 0.4 percent in September.


European stocks have come under pressure over the course of the session on Friday amid concerns about the return of full lockdowns as a brutal fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic sweeps across Europe.

European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said today that inflation in the euro zone will fade over the medium term and it doesn't make sense to react by tightening policy.

While the French CAC 40 Index has slid by 0.8 percent, the U.K.'s FTSE 100 Index and the German DAX Index are down by 0.6 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.

Discount carrier Ryanair Holdings has fallen after saying it will drop its London Stock Exchange listing. The last day of trading of the shares on the London Stock Exchange will be December 17, 2021.

Home improvement retailer Kingfisher has also slumped amid concerns over a lack of visibility on the outlook for the 2022-23 year.

On the other hand, Halma, a global group of safety equipment companies, has risen after it acquired Infinite Leap, Inc., an American firm, for its Medical sector business, CenTrak.

French luxury group Hermes has also jumped to a record high after reports that it may be added to the Eurostoxx 50 index during a December review.

In economic news, U.K. retail sales advanced 0.8 percent month-on-month in October after staying flat in September, data from the Office for National Statistics showed. Economists had forecast monthly growth of 0.5 percent. This was the first increase since May.

Separate data showed that U.K. budget deficit exceeded expectations and marked the second-highest October borrowing since monthly records began in 1993.

German producer prices jumped 18.4 percent year-on-year in October following a 14.2 percent increase in September, data released by Destatis revealed. Prices were expected to surge 16.2 percent. This was the highest growth since November 1951, when prices spiked 20.6 percent.

U.S. Economic Reports

Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller is scheduled to speak on the economic outlook before a Center for Financial Stability event at 10:45 am ET.

At 12:15 pm ET, Federal Reserve Vice Chair Richard Clarida is due to speak on Perspectives on Global Monetary Policy Coordination, Cooperation, and Correlation before a virtual Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Asia Economic Policy Conference.

Stocks In Focus

Shares of Farfetch (FTCH) are moving sharply lower in pre-market trading after the luxury fashion e-commerce company reported a narrower than expected third quarter loss but weaker than expected sales. Farfetch also provided disappointing earnings guidance.

Athletic footwear and apparel retailer Foot Locker (FL) is also likely to see initial weakness after reporting third quarter results that exceeded estimates but saying it expects global supply chain constraints to persist throughout the fourth quarter.

On the other hand, shares of The Buckle (BKE) are seeing notable pre-market strength after the fashion accessories retailer reported third quarter results that beat expectations on both the top and bottom lines.

Department store operator Dillard's (DDS) may also move to the upside after announcing a special dividend of $15.00 per share payable December 15, 2021 to shareholders of record as of November 29, 2021.

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