Stock futures were little changed Friday morning as Wall Street parsed the latest earnings from big-name technology companies in the runup to a major employment report due later in the day. Futures linked to the tech-heavy index hovered nearly the flatline, while S&P 500 futures added 0.15%. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 20 points. A deluge of earnings reports released after the bell Thursday sent individual stocks moving. Amazon jumped 8.7% after trouncing expectations on profit and offering positive guidance, while Apple lost around 2.3% after revenue came in lower than it did in the year-ago quarter. Beyond mega-cap tech, Airbnb slid after the company said nights and experiences booked grew at a slower rate than Wall Street anticipated. DraftKings rose around 12% on the back of a report that exceeded analyst expectations. So far this season about 79% of S&P 500 companies have given results, with about 80% surpassing Wall Street expectations, according to FactSet. “The last batch of Q2 earnings this week delivered more beats, resilient margins, stable guidance and showed appetite for capex/capital returns, despite worries about the economy,” said Emmanual Cau, head of European equity strategy at Barclays. “Positive EPS momentum has supported the rally, but rates volatility is back in the driver’s seat.” Traders are also focused on jobs data due Friday morning for further insights into the strength of the labor market and economy. Investors are hoping that slowed growth in hourly earnings can signal to the Federal Reserve that previous interest rate hikes have had their intended effects on the economy, according to Rob Haworth, senior investment strategist, wealth management, at U.S. Bank. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect nonfarm payrolls to grow by 200,000 in July. Meanwhile, the consensus estimate shows the unemployment rate should hold steady at 3.6%. Economists are expecting average hourly wages to rise by 0.3% from June and 4.2% on an annualized basis. A pop in the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield weighed on stocks in Thursday’s session, with the three major indexes finishing down. As of Thursday’s close, all three major indexes are on pace to end the week lower. The Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 — down about 2.5% and 1.8%, respectively — are poised to post their worst weekly performances since March. The Dow has slid 0.7% on a week-to-date basis. Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Friday as rising bond yields continue to put pressure on equities in the wake of the U.S. credit downgrade. IG market analyst Tony Sycamore noted the yield on the U.S. 30 year bond rose by 14 basis points overnight to 4.30%, taking the yield towards its October 2022 4.42% high. “The move higher in long end yields is being driven by lumpy bond issuance, resilient data and Fitch’s downgrade earlier in the week,” Sycamore said. In Asia, the Reserve Bank of Australia cut the growth outlook for the country in 2023, but said inflation was “moving in the right direction.” The S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.19% and closed at 7,325.3. Japan’s Nikkei 225 was up 0.1% and ended the day at 32,192.75, while the Topix saw a larger gain of 0.28% to close at 2,274.63. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.1% to close at 2,602.8 and extend its losing streak to three days, while the Kosdaq slid 0.21% to end at 918.43. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index pared earlier gains and climbed 0.55% in its final hour, while mainland markets were also higher. The Shanghai Composite was up 0.23% to close at 3,288.08 while the Shenzhen Component rose 0.7%, finishing at 11,238.06. Oil prices were on track for a sixth week of gains after Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world’s second and third-largest crude producers, pledged to cut output through September. Brent crude futures for October rose 31 cents to $85.45 a barrel by 1059 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for September were up 32 cents to $81.87. Both benchmarks were set for their longest streak of weekly gains this year. Brent has risen 15.4% and WTI by 18.2% during the last six weeks. Gold prices looked set to post their worst week in six on Friday as investors braced for a closely watched U.S. jobs report after a string of solid economic data this week drove Treasury yields to nine-month highs. Spot gold was little changed at $1,935.07 per ounce by 0412 GMT, while U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,970.30.
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