Stock futures opened higher Thursday evening as investors took in earnings results from some major tech companies at the end of another volatile week.
Contracts on the S&P 500 gained. Dow futures also advanced, as component stock Apple (AAPL) jumped in late trading after the iPhone-maker reported record quarterly sales and better-than-expected profits despite supply chain challenges. Meanwhile, Robinhood (HOOD) shares sank after the trading platform missed on quarterly revenue, posted a larger-than-expected quarterly decline in users, and offered disappointing guidance.
The S&P 500 was on track to post a weekly loss of about 1.3%, based on Thursday's closing prices. New reports showing a better-than-expected rise in fourth-quarter U.S. GDP and improvement in weekly jobless claims did little to help turn stocks around during Thursday's session. The Dow and Nasdaq have each also fallen over the course of the past week, with volatility rising as traders considered the implications of the Federal Reserve's more hawkish monetary policy tilt for markets.
"The markets digested this hawkish Fed pivot that I think surprised people in terms of its magnitude," Scott Crowe, CenterSquare Investment Management chief investment strategist, told Yahoo Finance Live on Thursday. "It wasn't so long ago that they were describing inflation as 'transitory,' but now they have their sights firmly set on moderating inflation. And I think that's given the market a lot of indigestion as it starts to digest that pretty dramatic shift."
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell strongly signaled earlier this week that a March liftoff on interest rates to above their present near-zero levels was in the cards. However, other questions remained — namely around just how quickly the Fed will raise interest rates, and around when and how rapidly the Fed will begin drawing down its nearly $9 trillion balance sheet and tightening financial conditions.
"Everything the Fed is doing at this point we think has just been priced in over the last few weeks. And that's where a lot of the slide in the market has come from," Morgan Stanley Managing Director Kathy Entwistle told Yahoo Finance Live on Thursday. "And the big question is, will we slide a little bit more? What's happening?"
"We're looking at companies and their earnings … to determine whether or not we're going to have a little bit more of a pullback in the market or not," she added. "And that's based on what they can do going forward, where their opportunities are. And we've been hearing a lot about inflation. If you think about a 7% inflation rate, that's quite significant."
"Back in the fall, it was the retail investor that was holding up the market," Entwistle said. "And now, their sentiments have sort of turned and they're no longer optimistic about where we are right now. So I think we have to think about all of these things. We do think that the quality, again, is going to do better than growth."
6:15 p.m. ET Thursday: Stock futures jump after Apple earnings
Here's where futures began trading Thursday evening:
S&P 500 futures (ES=F): +30 points (+0.69%), to 4,347.75
Dow futures (YM=F): +169 points (+0.5%), to 34,212.00
Nasdaq futures (NQ=F): +169 points (+1.21%) to 14,155.75
Photo by: NDZ/STAR MAX/IPx 2022 1/24/22 People walk past the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Wall Street on January 24, 2022 in New York.
Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter
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