Futures contracts on all three major U.S. indexes edged lower through the Asian session, setting the stage for a weak start to New York trading at 9:30 a.m. ET. Dow Jones futures declined 81 points, or 0.3%, to trade at 26,921.00.
The December contract for the S&P 500 Index declined 0.3% to 2,990.00.Nasdaq 100 mini futures contracts tumbled 0.2% to 7,940.75.
U.S. equities traded sharply higher on Tuesday as optimism surrounding U.S.-China trade talks continued to reverberate. The Dow was up more than 300 points earlier in the day before closing on a gain of 237 points.
Corporate earnings surprised to the upside on Tuesday, with J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C) and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) posting better than expected top and bottom-line results. These blue-chip companies masked what many analysts believe will be another disappointing quarter for U.S. companies.
The S&P 500 is expected to report an earnings decline of 4.6% in the third quarter, according to FactSet, a financial research firm. If the forecast holds, it would mark the third consecutive quarter of year-over-year declines – the longest stretch since 2015-16.
Earnings have been revised sharply lower since the end of the second quarter, when FactSet called for an earnings slump of only 0.6%. Unlike in June, FactSet now expects all 11 S&P 500 companies to report earnings declines.
U.S. companies are not only feeling the pinch of a protracted trade war, they have reported negative impacts from foreign exchange rates. According to FactSet, of the 22 S&P 500 companies to have reported earnings through Oct. 10, half cited foreign exchange rates “as a factor that either had a negative impact on earnings or revenues in Q3 or is expected to have a negative impact” in the future.
Last modified: September 23, 2020 1:09 PM