U.S. stock index futures ticked downward Wednesday as traders weighed the latest round of earnings and sticky global inflation. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 130 points, or 0.38%, while S&P 500 futures slipped 0.7%. Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 0.9%. Treasury yields shot higher overnight, weighing on stock futures, after a reading of U.K. inflation rose 10.1% on annual basis, above expectations. The 2-year Treasury yield neared 4.3% as traders bet the Federal Reserve will have to raise rates at least one more time when it meets May 3rd. Netflix shares fell slightly in the premarket as the streaming giant disappointed investors by pushing back plans to more strictly clamp down on password sharing. In its latest quarter, the company beat analysts’ expectations on earnings per share, but fell short of estimates on revenue. Netflix added 1.75 million subscribers last quarter, more than the Street expected. Elsewhere, earnings reports from major banking institutions wrapped up with Morgan Stanley. The Wall Street behemoth’s stock fell 3% premarket despite posting better-than-expected results. Investors have been closely monitoring industry results after bank failures last month rattled the sector. Trading has been choppy this week as investors evaluate a rush of earnings. On Tuesday, the S&P 500 ticked higher by 0.09%, while the Dow shed 0.03%, or 10.55 points. The Nasdaq Composite closed slightly lower by 0.04%. Electric vehicle giant Tesla will report after the closing bell. Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed on Wednesday as Wall Street’s earnings season continued and U.S. Federal Reserve officials delivered mixed signals on future rate hikes. Atlanta Federal Reserve President Raphael Bostic told CNBC that he sees one more rate hike of 25 basis points, before pausing to see its impact on the economy. This would take the U.S. Federal Funds rate to 5% to 5.25%. Bostic’s words come as St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard told Reuters that he favors a higher terminal rate of between 5.50% and 5.75%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed marginally up at 7,362.3, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 dipped 0.18% to end the day at 28.606.76. The Topix fell 0.02% to finish at 2,040.38. South Korea’s Kospi rose 0.16% to end at 2,575.08, while the Kosdaq was also up marginally and closed at 909.2. Mainland Chinese markets were all lower, with the Shanghai Composite down 0.68% to finish at 3,370.13 and the Shenzhen Component fell 0.84% to close at 11,760.27. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 1.23% lower, and the Hang Seng Tech index lost 2.3%. Oil prices dropped sharply on Wednesday, sliding by 2% as potential U.S. interest rate hikes that could slow growth and curb oil consumption outweighed strong Chinese economic data and falling U.S. inventories. Brent crude futures shed $1.66, or 1.93%, to $83.13 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate U.S. crude fell by $1.58, or 1.95%, to $79.28. Gold prices slid more than 1% Wednesday on higher U.S. yields and the dollar, as some investors bet that a pause to the Federal Reserve’s rate hike may take longer than previously thought. Spot gold was down 1.5% at $1,974.89 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were down 1.6% to $1,986.50.
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