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U.S. stock futures pushed higher early Wednesday as investors assessed remarks from Federal Reserve officials and continued to barrel through the earnings season.
Futures tied to the S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite each gained roughly 0.6%. Hawkish Fedspeak also prompted a jump in Treasury yields, with 10-year rates holding above 2.7%, up nearly 20 basis points from the start of the week.
In commodities markets, OPEC and its allies green lighted a small increase of about 100,000 barrels per day in oil production following calls by the U.S. and other major consumers for more supply. The move, while symbolic, is expected to have little impact on prices. Crude oil traded near highs of the day, with WTI (CL=F) just above $95 per barrel and Brent (BZ=F) at roughly $101.20.
Wednesday’s moves follow a down day on Wall Street that saw stocks close lower for a second consecutive session amid a high-stakes visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan that raised worries around U.S.-China relations.
Shares of CVS (CVS) gained nearly 4% pre-market after the drugstore chain reported earnings that beat estimates and lifted its full-year guidance.
Starbucks (SBUX) shares rose 2.5% after the coffee house unveiled fiscal third quarter earnings after the bell Tuesday that largely beat Wall Street estimates despite inflationary pressures, labor costs, unionization efforts and the search for a permanent CEO.
Meanwhile, AMD (AMD) shares tumbled nearly 6% ahead of the open after the chipmaker warned of a rare worse-than-expected third quarter late Tuesday.
As economic data shows signs of slowing and companies continue to dim their outlooks, analysts are making larger cuts than average to earnings per share estimates for S&P 500 companies for the third quarter. According to data from FactSet, Wall Street lowered its consensus bottom-up EPS estimate by 2.5% from June 30 to July 28. During the past five years – or 20 quarters – the average decline in the bottom-up EPS estimate during the first month of a quarter has been 1.3%.
On Tuesday, investors digested hawkish Fedspeak that suggested more interest rate hikes were underway the central bank’s efforts to curb inflation. San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly on Tuesday said policymakers were “resolute and completely united” in their objective of restoring price stability, and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans told reporters that officials were “at least a couple of reports away” from seeing enough improvement in inflation data to scale back on the pace of hiking rates.
Meanwhile, St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bulllard said the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank can still achieve a “relatively soft landing” as they tighten monetary conditions.
“I think the story for markets is still, ‘What’s happening with the Fed? What’s happening with tightening?’” Manulife Investment Management Global Macro Strategist Eric Theoret told Yahoo Finance Live on Tuesday. “When it comes to geopolitics, it’s not really driving market movement at the moment.”
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