Stocks Set to Open Slightly Lower Friday

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Wall Street remains on the fence about whether the Fed can pull off a soft landing.

NYSE

After the market rose on Thursday, stock futures edged down in after-hours trading.

The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite closed Thursday up 0.95%, 0.64%, and 1.62%, respectively. The indexes fell in the middle of the session before recovering, as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testified before Congress for a second straight day. Powell reiterated his commitment to combating inflation in front of the House Financial Services Committee.

And yet traders remain unconvinced that the Fed can tame inflation without dragging down the economy and equity markets. And that is underscored by how stock futures are trading. 

At 6:15 p.m. Eastern time, futures for the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Nasdaq had all fallen 0.3%.

Zendesk (ticker: ZEN) popped after a Wall Street Journal report Thursday evening suggested the customer-service platform was nearing a sale to a group of buyout firms that includes Hellman & Friedman LLC and Permira. Zendesk closed Thursday at $57.95, and its shares had gained 35% in after-hours trading.

After the closing bell, FedEx (FDX) also rose on its fourth-quarter earnings for fiscal year 2022, which were essentially in line with Wall Street expectations. The shipping and transport company reported about $1.9 billion in Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) net income for the fourth quarter and forecast fiscal 2023 earnings would fall between $22.50 and $24.50 per share.

Other market gainers included General Dynamics (GD), which was up 5.11%, and Harley-Davidson (HOG), up about 4%. Dropbox (DBX) was down 3.86%, and McDonald ’s (MCD) had lost 3.26%. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday afternoon that McDonald’s executives informed franchisees of more stringent ownership rules this week.

Friday, investors will digest 10 a.m. data on new U.S. home sales in May. The consensus forecast is for 587,000 new sales, according to a survey of 24 economists by The Wall Street Journal. The previous figure of 591,000 for April represented the largest month-to-month drop—it was down 16.6% from March—in new home sales since 2013. 

The University of Michigan will also release its final consumer survey for June at 10 a.m. U.S. weekly export sales come out at 8:30 a.m.

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