NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. markets pointed lower before the opening bell ahead of quarterly earnings reports from a slew of major tech companies over next few days.
Futures for the S&P 500 and the Dow industrials both slipped 0.4% in off-hours trading following a late rally Monday that carried over into most global markets.
Shares advanced Tuesday in Europe after closing mostly higher in Asia, though Chinese shares skidded on renewed concerns over pandemic lockdowns and their potential effect on the economy there.
Britain’s FTSE 100 gained 1% in midday trading, while Germany’s DAX rose 1.1% and the CAC 40 in Paris picked up 1.2%.
Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet post quarterly numbers on Tuesday. Meta, formerly Facebook, reports Wednesday and Amazon and Twitter report Thursday.
Big technology and other high-growth stocks have dragged on the market recently as the Federal Reserve signals that it will raise its benchmark interest rate aggressively to combat inflation. Higher rates hurt a broad range of investments, especially the stocks seen as the most expensive.
Since they’re among the biggest companies by market value, their movements hold the most sway over the S&P 500.
Also pressuring U.S. markets are concerning reports out of China. Beijing is enforcing mass testing and closing down access to some neighborhoods as China’s capital seeks to contain a new COVID-19 outbreak. That follows lockdowns in Shanghai and dozens of other cities that may further crimp the world’s second-largest economy, and add to already scrambled supply chains.
General Electric on Tuesday said that it expected come in at the low end of its projections for the year and warned of ongoing supply-chain disruptions and “uncertainty in China due to recent COVID-19 impacts.”
The latest wave of outbreaks arrive with China’s economy slowing due in part to regulatory crackdowns on technology companies like Alibaba and efforts to bring down high levels of debt in the property sector.
Expectations that the economy, a big consumer of all commodities, might slow further have hit prices of nickel, copper, aluminum and zinc, which fell between 3% and 5% on Monday.
The Shanghai Composite index fell 1.4% to 2886.43, giving up early gains. On Monday it slumped 5.1%.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng, which lost 3.7% on Monday, closed up 0.3% at 19,934.71.
The Kospi in Seoul gained 0.4% to 2,668.31 after the government reported the South Korean economy grew at a 3.1% annual pace in the first quarter of the year, up 0.7% from the previous quarter.
In Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.4% to 26,700.11. India’s Sensex gained 1% to 57,149.41.
In Australia, which relies heavily on exports of resources to China, the S&P/ASX 200 dropped 2.1% to 7,318.00.
US. benchmark oil clawed back 77 cents, rising to $99.31 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It lost $3.53 to $98.54 on Monday.
Brent crude, the standard for pricing international oil, gained 91 cents to $103.07 per barrel.
The dollar slipped to 127.96 Japanese yen from 128.14 yen late Monday. The euro fell to $1.0672 from $1.0713.
Universal Health Services tumbled more than 12% premarket after falling short of Wall Street’s first-quarter profit targets. Glass and ceramics maker Corning jumped more than 8% after posting strong first-quarter sales and profit.
On Monday, the S&P 500 climbed 0.6% after erasing an early 1.7% loss. The rally was led by stocks of internet-related companies, including Twitter, which jumped 5.7% after agreeing to let Tesla CEO and tweeter extraordinaire Elon Musk buy it.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.7% Monday, while the Nasdaq composite rallied 1.3%.
Economists and investors are concerned that the U.S. economy might slow sharply or even fall into a recession because of the big interest-rate increases the Fed is expected to push through.
Besides their bottom-line profit numbers, investors are also looking for a better sense of how big companies in the technology, industrial and retail sectors are handling rising inflation and supply chain issues.
Wall Street gets some key economic data this week. The Conference Board will release its measure of consumer confidence for April on Tuesday and the Commerce Department will release its first-quarter gross domestic product report on Thursday.
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