Stock futures moved lower Thursday after Wednesday’s selloff on the back of Fitch’s U.S. downgrade. Wall Street also weighed the latest batch of quarterly results for insight into the health of corporate America. Futures tied to the S&P 500 fell 0.3%, while Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 0.5%. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures dipped 40 points, or 0.1%. Chipmaker Qualcomm lost 8% after the company missed analysts’ expectations on fiscal third-quarter revenue and guidance for the current period. DoorDash added 3.6% after beating expectations on revenue, while Moderna gained on a boosted Covid vaccine outlook. Tech bellwether Apple and e-commerce giant Amazon are slated to report after the close. Thus far, nearly 67% of the constituents in the S&P 500 have issued their latest quarterly reports, with about 81% of those companies beating expectations, according to FactSet. Stocks on Wednesday sold off, with the Nasdaq Composite dropping 2% for its worst day since February as tech stocks tumbled and bond yields spiked. The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average also closed lower. Fitch Ratings cut the United States’ long-term foreign currency issuer default rating to AA+ from AAA late Tuesday, citing “expected fiscal deterioration” over the next three years as well as weakening governance. Previously, stocks were posting a strong string of gains, led by growth names. “Sometimes markets need to digest a [torrent] of gains and this, coupled with a choppy seasonal backdrop, was poised for a pullback,” said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist for LPL Financial. “Fitch provided the rationale.” In other news, the Bank of England on Thursday hiked interest rates by 25 basis points, in the latest move by a global central bank to tame inflation. Wall Street also assessed the latest economic data, including in-line weekly jobless claims. Productivity data also showed an uptick in the second quarter. Asia-Pacific markets were mixed on Thursday as Wall Street saw a sell-off after ratings agency Fitch downgraded the United States’ long-term credit rating from AAA to AA+. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index dropped 0.41% in its final hour, while mainland Chinese markets reversed earlier losses. The Shanghai Composite closed up 0.58% at 3,280,46 and the Shenzhen Component rebounded 0.53% to close at 11,163.42. China’s Caixin survey for the services sector showed it expanded at a stronger pace in July compared to June. Japan’s Nikkei 225 tumbled 1.68%, leading losses in the region and closing at 32,159.28, while the Topix also fell 1.45% to end at 2,268.35. South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.42 to finish the day at 2.605.39, but the Kosdaq was up 1.16% to end at 920.32. South Korean internet giant Kakao saw its second quarter net profit fall by 44%, prompting a slide in its shares before it recovered ground later in the day. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 slid 0.58%, closing at 7,311.8 as the country saw its June trade balance come in above expectations. Oil slid further on Thursday after dropping sharply from more than three-month highs in the previous session as a U.S. government credit downgrade weighed on sentiment, while concerns around supply tightness provided support. Ratings agency Fitch on Wednesday downgraded the main U.S. credit rating, reflecting an expected fiscal deterioration as well as a high and growing government debt burden. The downgrade hit investor risk appetite, pushing oil and global stock markets lower. “Since oil had a steady rise over the past month, it was ripe for a pullback. The oil market will remain tight over the short term, but prices could be still vulnerable for a deeper drop,” said Edward Moya, an analyst at Oanda. Brent crude futures were down 45 cents, or 0.6%, at $82.74 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 41 cents, or 0.5%, to $79.08. Gold prices held near three-week lows on Thursday after strong U.S. private payrolls data suggested the economy could avoid a recession, fueling bets of more monetary policy tightening and, in turn, boosting the dollar and Treasury yields. Spot gold was little changed at $1,936.65 per ounce, having hit its lowest since July 11. U.S. gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,972.50.
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