Nasdaq 100 futures dropped Thursday as a bleak forecast by Meta fanned worries of a slowdown in earnings, while hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve will slow the pace of rate hikes limited declines.
Facebook-parent Meta Platforms Inc. fell 21.7% in premarket trading, set to wipe off about $75 billion from its market value, as it posted a drop in third-quarter profit and forecast a weak holiday quarter.
Gloomy earnings and warnings by growth companies, including Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc., spurred concerns about rising interest rates slowing down economic growth and led the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq to snap a three-day gaining streak on Wednesday.
"So far Meta is just the latest big tech company to disappoint. After a steady start to the U.S. third-quarter earnings season, things are starting to look a lot less rosy," Laith Khalaf, head of investment analysis at AJ Bell, said.
Analysts have set the bar low for the third-quarter reporting season, with aggregate S&P 500 profit growth now seen at 2.3% year-on-year, compared with 4.5% at the start of the month, according to Refinitiv data.
The weak corporate reports, along with a slew of data suggesting a softening economy have also driven up hopes that the Fed could take a less aggressive approach at its December policy meeting.
Bank of Canada announced a smaller-than-expected rate hike on Wednesday, with investor focus on a decision from the European Central Bank later on Thursday.
Futures tracking the blue-chip Dow rose amid a handful of positive earnings reports.
Caterpillar Inc jumped 4.2% after the heavy-equipment maker posted a rise in third-quarter profit, while McDonald's Corp. added 2.9% on beating quarterly comparable sales estimates.
Merck & Co. Inc. rose 2.5%, while Honeywell International Inc climbed 5.2% as both companies reported better-than-expected third-quarter earnings.
Results from Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. are expected later in the day, as well as advance U.S. gross domestic product data for the third quarter which will offer further clues on the outlook for monetary policy tightening.
The U.S. Commerce Department's report due at 8:30 a.m. ET is expected to show GDP growth likely rebounded at a 2.4% annualized rate last quarter after two straight quarterly declines.
At 7:15 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 208 points, or 0.65%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.75 points, or 0.02%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 59.25 points, or 0.52%.
Twitter Inc rose 1.1% a day after billionaire Elon Musk said he paid a visit to the social media company's headquarters ahead of a court-ordered deadline to close his $44 billion takeover deal.
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