Stock Market Live: JPMorgan Earnings Boost Dow, Inflation, Fed Minutes In Focus

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U.S. equity futures bumped higher Wednesday, while oil prices eased and Treasury yields fell, as investors looked cautiously to a key reading of September inflation and the unofficial start to the third quarter earnings season prior to the start of trading.

Global stocks traded modestly higher following surprisingly robust trade data from China, where September exports rose 28.1% from last year as consumer demand outpace supply chain disruptions and power shortages, while last night’s passage of a debt ceiling extension by House lawmakers puts at least one market concern to the side until early December.

In the meantime, investors will navigate what could be a tricky earnings season, kicked-off by a stronger-than-expected third quarter update from JPMorgan  (JPM) – Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Report, as well as September inflation data and minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last policy meeting, which will be published at 2:00 pm Eastern time.

The twin releases could go some way in forecasting the Fed’s next steps in terms of tapering the pace of its $120 billion in monthly bond purchases — the first in a series of steps taken before a rate hike — following two months of weaker-than-expected non-farm payroll data and a record amount of Americans opting to leave the job market.

Heading into the open, however, futures contracts tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average are indicating a modest 55 point opening bell gain ahead of the inflation data at 8:30 am Eastern time, while the broader S&P 500 is priced for a 8 point move to the upside. 

Nasdaq Composite futures, meanwhile, are set for a 70 point gain as benchmark 10-year note yields eased to 1.565% in overnight trading following yesterday’s solid $36 billion auction and growing concerns for the strength of the post-pandemic recovery.

Notable pre-market movers include Apple  (AAPL) – Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report, which fell 0.5% in pre-market trading Wednesday amid reports that the tech giant may need to cut production of its signature iPhone 13 as result of the global semiconductor shortage.

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JPMorgan, however, gained 0.3% after it posted stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings Wednesday as investment banking fees from a record year for mergers and acquisitions powered the bank’s bottom line.

SAP SE  (SAP) – Get SAP SE Sponsored ADR Report shares surged in pre-market trading after the cloud and business software group boosted its full-year revenue outlook thanks to what it called “record adoption of our applications and our platform.”

Germany-based SAP said it sees cloud revenues rising by €200 million this year to around €24 billion, a gain of around 17.5% from 2020, with operating profits coming in between down 2% and flat on the year. 

Plug Power  (PLUG) – Get Plug Power Inc. Report shares also jumped higher after analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded the hydrogen fuel cell developer to ‘outperform’ and boosted their price target to $40 a share.

Away from equities, oil prices eased from seven-years highs on demand concerns following a downgrade of global growth forecasts from the International Monetary Fund Tuesday and ahead of today’s stockpile report from the Energy Department. 

WTI futures for November delivery were marked 347 cents lower at $82.89 per barrel while Brent contracts for December, the global pricing benchmark, fell 55 cents at $82.87 per barrel.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 gained 0.36% by mid-morning trade, while benchmark German 10-year note yields moved to -0.13% after a key inflation gauge hit the highest levels in seven years.

Overnight in Asia, the Japanese yen fell to the lowest level against the U.S. dollar in three years, adding to energy input costs in an economy that is largely dependent on oil imports. 

Japan’s Nikkei 225 closed 0.32% lower at 28,140.28 points while the region-wide MSCI ex-Japan index gained 0.35%. 

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