Asian stocks looked set to recover from their biggest slide in two months as investors mulled a slew of earnings reports amid worries over virus variants and hurdles to stimulus. Nasdaq futures climbed.
Futures pointed higher in Japan and Hong Kong. Australia’s shares slipped as the market reopened after a holiday. Nasdaq 100 contracts jumped following a strong earnings report from Microsoft Corp. S&P 500 futures saw more modest gains after the benchmark ended an up-and-down session slightly lower. Small-caps were among the worst performers as traders turned away from bets on an end to Covid lockdowns.
Meanwhile, Treasury yields were little changed. The dollar weakened. Oil edged up.
Global stocks are mostly treading water near record highs as U.S. corporate earnings season gears up this week. Microsoft said fiscal second-quarter sales rose faster than expected thanks to buoyant cloud demand, while Advanced Micro Devices Inc. gave an upbeat forecast, reflecting strong demand for its chips.
Still, investors remain wary about the ongoing pandemic, as data showed global coronavirus cases surpassed 100 million. The U.K. became the first nation in Europe with 100,000 deaths and New York City said it would miss its goal of administering 1 million vaccine shots by the end of January.
“Part of the cross current we’re seeing is concern about the new variants of the virus that seem to be spreading quite a bit,” said Yung-Yu Ma, chief investment strategist at BMO Wealth Management. “It just raises a question of uncertainty and when we’re going to get out from under the cloud of Covid.”
These are some key events coming up in the week ahead:
- Apple Inc., Tesla Inc., Facebook Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. are among companies reporting results.
- The Federal Open Market Committee monetary policy decision and briefing by Chair Jerome Powell are scheduled for Wednesday.
- Fourth-quarter GDP, initial jobless claims and new home sales are among U.S. data releases Thursday.
- U.S. personal income, spending and pending home sales come Friday.
These are the main moves in markets:
- S&P 500 futures rose 0.2%. The S&P 500 Index fell 0.2%.
- Nikkei 225 futures rose 0.6%.
- Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index fell 0.1%.
- Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index futures rose 0.8%.
- The yen traded at 103.63 per dollar.
- The offshore yuan was at 6.4746 per dollar.
- The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index fell 0.3%.
- The euro traded at $1.2162.
- The British pound was at $1.3738.
- The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose one basis point to 1.03%.
- West Texas Intermediate crude rose 0.5% to $52.85 per barrel.
- Gold was at $1,850.91 an ounce.
— With assistance by Lu Wang, and Claire Ballentine
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