Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange on Feb. 1, 2024.
Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters
S&P 500 futures rose on Thursday night as a trio of megacap tech titans reported results and investors looked ahead to the January jobs report.
Futures tied to the broader market index rose 0.47%, while Nasdaq 100 futures climbed by 0.87%. On the other hand, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures hovered near the flatline.
In extended trading, shares of Meta popped 14% after the social-media giant defied analysts’ expectations. The Facebook-parent also announced it will pay a quarterly dividend for the first time, and it authorized a $50 billion share buyback program. Amazon shares jumped 7% on fourth-quarter beats. However, Apple slid 3% after the company posted a decline in sales in China during the fiscal first quarter.
The moves follow a day of rebounds during Thursday’s trading session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.97%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite respectively gained 1.25% and 1.3%. The action follows a Wednesday sell-off that started after Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell indicated that a rate cut at the March meeting was unlikely.
The move upward on Thursday indicates that investors are not only correcting Wednesday’s overreaction but are ultimately optimistic on the rate cut outlook, said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley Wealth Management.
“This is the first time [the FOMC] actually really talked about rate cuts,” he told CNBC. “There’s still incredible possibility that with seven weeks more of data, by the time the March meeting rolls around, they may feel confident enough to lay their first rate cut down. It’s not our base case, but it’s certainly in the cards, and there’s a 60% chance that they do it in May.”
Meanwhile, better-than-expected earnings across the board have also warranted the market’s constructive reaction. Ultimately, Hogan thinks that this year’s market rally is likely to continue, with Wednesday’s pullback to remain a blip on the radar.
“There’s a resilient economy, confident consumer, better economic data than anticipated and the potential for earnings and revenue growth in 2024, which likely drives markets a bit higher,” he said.
Investors — and the Fed — will have another data point to mull over on Friday with the release of January’s jobs report. Economists polled by Dow Jones are calling for payrolls to have grown by 185,000 positions, and for the unemployment rate to inch higher to 3.8%. That compares to December’s blowout of 216,000 positions added and an unemployment rate of 3.7%.
Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cigna and AbbVie are all due to report earnings before Friday’s bell.