U.S. stock market index futures slid Wednesday morning as investors moved attention to the latest batch of corporate earnings. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell by 136 points, or 0.4%. S&P 500 futures slipped 0.5%, while Nasdaq-100 futures shed 0.4%. Chipotle fell more than 5% after missing expectations on the top and bottom lines in its latest results. Meanwhile, CVS and Uber advanced more than 1% and 7%, respectively, following earnings that came in above Wall Street estimates. Stocks closed near session highs after a volatile bout of trading on Tuesday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped about 265 points, or 0.78%. The S&P 500 rose 1.29%. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite outpaced the other two indexes, gaining 1.9%. Driving Tuesday’s gains was Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks that inflation has started easing. His comments reiterated those given at his press conference last week, further bolstering investor hopes that the central bank will soon pause or pivot on interest rate hikes. “We have a Federal Reserve that no longer wants to be adversarial,” said Virtus Investment Partners’ Joseph Terranova said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Closing Bell: Overtime.” “And one could argue that they are not adversarial anymore, because they’ve had two opportunities in the last week to be that way. They didn’t do it.” Investors are also looking to post-bell earnings from companies including Walt Disney and Robinhood. They will also watch for the latest reading on wholesale inventories due out at 10 a.m. ET. Economists are expecting a rise of 0.1% in December, according to Dow Jones. Asia-Pacific markets traded mixed on Wednesday, as Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell overnight acknowledged that inflation is declining — a sign the central bank may soon pause its rate hikes. U.S. futures, meanwhile, are mixed after President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address. The Nikkei 225 fell 0.29% to 27,606.46, dragged down by declining shares of Sharp, Nintendo and Softbank after posting disappointing results. The Topix, however, closed fractionally higher at 1,983.97. In South Korea, the Kospi rose 1.3% to close at 2,483.64, leading gains in the region and the Kosdaq rose 0.93% to end the day at 779.98. The S&P/ASX 200 climbed 0.35% to 7,530.1 as investors further digested the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Tuesday hike that also included hawkish commentary. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index fell 0.11% in its final hour of trade, while the Hang Seng Tech index declined 1.75%. In mainland China, the Shenzhen Component closed 0.61% lower to 11,853.46, while the Shanghai Composite fell 0.49% to close at 3,232.14. Oil rose for a third straight day on Wednesday as investor concern eased about U.S. interest rate hikes and an industry report pointed to a drop in U.S. crude inventories. “It would appear traders had become a little more defensive on the expectation of a hawkish shift but Powell refrained from taking the leap,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at brokerage OANDA. Brent crude rose 67 cents, or 0.8%, to $84.36 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude climbed 80 cents, or 1%, to $77.94. Gold prices ticked higher on Wednesday as the dollar retreated from a one-month peak after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell did not revert to a more hawkish stance despite last week’s stronger-than-expected jobs report. Spot gold was up 0.4% at $1,882.56 per ounce. U.S. gold futures firmed 5% at $1,894.70.
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