Wednesday May 5th


Dow futures bounce, tech shares rebound after sell-off

U.S. stock index futures rebounded on Wednesday following a session defined by major weakness in technology stocks. Dow futures added 82 points and S&P 500 futures gained 0.4%. The biggest gains were with futures on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100, which bounced 0.85. Major tech shares rebounded in early trading. Apple and Tesla gained about 1% each after falling 3.5% and 1.7% respectively on Tuesday. There was good earnings news in the tech sector as well. Activision Blizzard rose more than 5% and ride-hailing company Lyft gained over 4% in premarket trading after better-than-expected earnings reports. Outside of tech, General Motors shares jumped more than 3% in early trading after earnings blew past expectations. On Tuesday, investors exited technology and growth stocks, pushing the Nasdaq Composite down 1.9%. Along with losses in Apple and Tesla, shares of Netflix lost 1.2%, and Microsoft dropped  1.6%. Amazon and Facebook shed 2.2% and 1.3%, respectively. Alphabet fell 1.6%. The S&P 500 wiped out Monday’s gains, dropping 0.7%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day up about 20 points after dropping more than 300 points at one point Tuesday. The small-cap benchmark Russell 2000 fell 1.3%. Reopening plays like airlines, casinos and cruise lines also saw selling pressure. There are a number of possible reasons for the downward pressure, including fears about rising inflation, concerns the Federal Reserve may have to taper monetary stimulus earlier than telegraphed, and the potential for tax hikes in the months ahead. U.S. equities hit lows of the day following Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s comments that interest rates may have to rise somewhat to keep economy from overheating. Later in the day, the former Fed Chairman tempered her comments somewhat, saying she respects the central bank’s independence and was not trying to influence decision-making there. “It’s not something I’m predicting or recommending,” Yellen told the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council Summit in follow-up comments. While earnings have been coming in strong for the first quarter and companies have been raising guidance, stocks are not always moving upward following good news. Investors told CNBC this could mean the positive outlook is already priced into stocks. Private payrolls rose by 742,000 jobs in April, according to ADP. This result was below expectations of 800,000 jobs from economists surveyed by Dow Jones. ADP did revise its March report upward by 48,000 jobs. These numbers come ahead of Friday’s closely-watched jobs report. Australian shares rose on Wednesday while Hong Kong and Singapore shares struggled for gains. Some of the other major Asia-Pacific markets are closed for the day. In Taiwan, the Taiex gave up gains to close down 0.53% at 16,843.44 while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index also stumbled 0.49% to 28,417.98. Singapore’s Straits Times index declined 0.83% in afternoon trade. Markets on the Chinese mainland and Japan remain closed for public holidays. South Korean markets are also shut. Oil prices rose nearly 1% on Wednesday, extending overnight gains, after industry data estimated U.S. crude stockpiles fell much more than expected last week reinforcing bullish views on fuel demand in the world’s largest economy. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures leapt 72 cents, or 1.1%, to $66.42 a barrel, after climbing to $66.45, its highest since March 8. Brent crude futures jumped 80 cents, or 1.2%, to $69.66 barrel after touching a more than seven-week high of $69.64. Gold prices ticked up on Wednesday, lifted by a retreat in the dollar, although gains were kept in check after U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said interest rates may need to rise. Spot gold was up less than 0.1% at $1,778.66 per ounce. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,777.80.