Equity futures sought direction on Wednesday night amid a mixed batch of corporate results and a Federal Reserve move that signaled the central bank was still seeking a recovery in the U.S. economy before to adjust its monetary policies.
S&P 500 contracts fell slightly. The index ended the regular session in the red but hovered less than 0.5% below its recent all-time closing high. Dow Jones contracts rose, while Nasdaq contracts fell.
Facebook (FB) shares fell late in the day after the company said it saw a deceleration in sales in the second half of the year and suggested that an update to Apple iOS app tracking would negatively impact its advertising business main. The comments eclipsed what was otherwise a second-quarter report to beat estimates, with revenues rising far more than expected as the internet advertising industry as a whole recovered further. Peer-to-peer tech company PayPal (PYPL) also saw its shares fall after providing guidance for the current quarter that missed consensus estimates.
Investors also continued to digest a move by the Federal Reserve that signaled the central bank was getting closer, but not yet fully developed, to announce and begin a rollback of its crisis policies. Specifically, the latest Federal Open Market Committee statement said that “the economy has progressed toward” the central bank’s goals of making further substantial progress in the recovery, but that “the Committee will continue to assess progress as it progresses. of the next meetings “.
“We have progress, but not substantial further progress, “wrote Paul Ashworth, chief US economist for Capital Economics, on Wednesday. slightly different for each FOMC participant.”
“Overall we’re a little closer to figuring out when the cone might start, but there are a lot of other big questions like how fast the cone will unfold and what will happen to the toll after that,” he said. added Ashworth.
The discussion of when the Fed will announce and begin scaling back its pandemic asset purchase program has become a major concern for market participants, as this quantitative easing has been critical in supporting prices. of assets over the past year. The Federal Reserve continued to make purchases totaling $ 120 billion per month of U.S. Treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities, although Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reported during his press conference on Wednesday that the time to reduce them could come “in the next meetings.”
The Fed “took the issue of tapering a step further, noting that” progress “has been made towards its targets, but not yet the” sufficient additional progress “needed to trigger tapering,” wrote Ian Shepherdson, an economist in leader of Pantheon Macroeconomics, in a Note. “President Powell noted that the spread of the Delta variant has led to greater uncertainty, but policymakers are currently continuing to continue their discussions on reducing the number.”
“The FOMC statement and President Powell reiterated the Fed’s view that the increase in inflation is due to ‘transient’ or ‘temporary’ factors,” he added. “The Fed is therefore not under any pressure to take immediate decisions.”
6:02 p.m. ET Wednesday: Mixed Equity Futures
Here are the main moves in the markets as the overnight session started on Wednesday:
S&P 500 Futures Contracts (ES = F): -1.25 point (-0.03%) to 4,392.5
Dow Futures (YM = F): +41 points (+ 0.12%) to 34,875.00
Nasdaq Futures (NQ = F): -28.75 points (-0.19%) to 14,982.75
Raw (CL = F): unchanged at $ 72.39 per barrel
Gold (CG = F): + $ 7.00 (+ 0.39%) to $ 1,806.70 per ounce
10-year cash flow (^ TNX): unchanged, ceding 1.238%
Emily McCormick is a reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter: @emily_mcck
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