Market Snapshot: U.S. stock futures rise ahead of GDP data after worst day since June

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U.S. stock-index futures rose modestly Thursday, after the market’s biggest one-day drop since June as investors awaited a reading on third-quarter gross domestic product and sifted through corporate results on one of the busiest days of earnings reporting of the season.

What are major indexes doing?

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average YM00, -0.29% rose 54 points, or 0.2%, to 26,463, while S&P 500 futures ES00, -0.04% were up 11.75 points, or 0.4%, at 3,275.25. Nasdaq-100 futures NQ00, +0.31% gained 74 points, or 0.7%, to trade at 11,206.75.

The Dow DJIA, -3.43% on Wednesday dropped 943.24 points, or 3.4%, to close at 26,519.95 for its fourth straight loss. The S&P 500 SPX, -3.52% lost 119.65 points, or 3.5%, to end at 3,271.03, for its third straight decline, while the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -3.73% closed at 11,004.87, down 426.48 points, or 3.7%.

The Dow and S&P 500 saw their worst one-day percentage drop since June 11, while the Nasdaq suffered its biggest decline since Sept. 8. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq erased their October gains with Wednesday’s selloff, joining the Dow, which had turned lower for the month earlier in the week.

Read: Why the Nasdaq, with its ‘work from home’ giants, saw its worst day in 7 weeks

What’s driving the market?

Early Thursday equities in Europe and the U.S. were regaining some of the ground lost in Wednesday’s rout when Germany and France moved to impose tighter restrictions on activity in response to a sharp rise in COVID-19 cases. A surge in infections in the U.S., meanwhile, also contributed to fears the domestic and global economy could see a slowdown, undercutting the V-shaped rebound seen since the pandemic forced the near shutdown of activity around much of the world earlier this year.

A tightening presidential election race was also blamed for the selloff. Democratic challenger Joe Biden’s continues to lead President Donald Trump in the polls, but the race has tightened and a survey released this week showed Trump moving ahead of Biden in Florida, a battleground state.

Investors fear a tight race that could produce a contested election outcome, potentially leading to weeks of uncertainty and acrimony, while a more clear-cut outcome is seen paving the way for near-term spending to aid the economy.

“Overall, it is difficult to envision any meaningful recovery for now, with next week’s election casting a long shadow,” said Marios Hadjikyriacos, investment analyst at XM, in a note. “However, once that risk is out of the way investors may reconsider all the gloom, depending on the outcome of course, especially if infections stop accelerating. ”

The European Central Bank is expected to leave policy on hold when it concludes a policy meeting Thursday morning, but might signal that further action is likely to come in December, economists said.

Investors were also digesting a stream of earnings, including results from DuPont DD, -2.51%, Yum Brands Inc. YUM, -2.99% and Tapestry Inc. TPR, -0.51%. Almost all the technology giants are due to report after the market close Thursday, with results due from Twitter Inc. TWTR, -5.34%, Facebook Inc. FB, -5.51%, Google parent Alphabet Inc. GOOG, -5.46%, GOOGL, -5.50% Apple Inc. and Amazon.com Inc AMZN, -3.76%.

In deal-related news, Marvell Technology Group Ltd. MRVL, -4.67% said Thursday that it had agreed to acquire Inphi Corp. IPHI, -2.55% in a cash-and-stock deal that will create a semiconductor company with a $40 billion enterprise value. Inphi shares jumped 31% in premarket trade, while Marvell shares fell 6.8%.

The economic calendar will deliver a pair of closely watched figures, including the Commerce Department’s initial estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product at 8:30 a.m. Eastern. Economists sureyedby MarketWatch predict a 33% spurt in annualized growth in the third quarter, with some forecasts even higher. That’s after a 31.4% annualized decline in the second quarter. While impressive, a bounceback in line with expectations would still see the economy significantly smaller than it was before the pandemic.

At the same time, the Labor Department will release weekly data on jobless claims, with first-time applications expected to fall to 770,000 in the week ended Oct. 23 versus 787,000 a week earlier.

Which companies are in focus?
  • Tapestry shares rose 4.7% in premarket trade, after the parent of the Coach, Kate Spade and Stuart Weitzman brands delivered better-than-expected earnings for its fiscal first quarter.
  • Shares of DuPont de Nemours Inc. may be in focus after the materials company swung to a third-quarter net loss, but reported an adjusted profit that topped and revenue that fell less than expectations and provided an upbeat full-year outlook.
  • Shares of Yum Brands rose after delivering earnings and revenues that beat expectations.
  • Ford Motor Co. F, -2.77% shares were up 5.5% in premarket action after the auto maker surprised Wall Street by delivering a $2 billion rise in quarterly profit and said its bets on pickups and SUVs paid off.
  • Shares of biotech drugmaker Amgen Inc. AMGN, -3.16% were up 0.3% in premarket trade after the company reported results that topped estimates late Wednesday.
  • Gilead Sciences Inc. GILD, -2.15%, in quarterly results released after Wednesday’s close, showed sales of its COVID-19 antiviral drug helped lift sales and earnings, but cut its annual sales forecast. Shares were. down 0.7%
  • Shares of online marketplace eBay Inc. EBAY, -0.56% were down more than 5% in premarket action, after the company late Wednesday released third-quarter results that beat expectations and said it was making progress with its payments transition.
  • Teladoc Health Inc. TDOC, +1.73% shares fell 3.3% after the telemedicine company narrowed its quarterly loss and reported sales that beat expectations but called for steeper losses in the next quarter.