U.S. Stocks May Regain Ground On Positive Reaction To Microsoft, Alphabet Earnings

Following the sell-off seen in the previous session, stocks are likely to move back to the upside in early trading on Wednesday. The major index futures are currently pointing to a higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by 151 points.

Strong gains by Microsoft (MSFT) and Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL) are likely to contribute to an early rebound on Wall Street.

Shares of Microsoft are up by 3.4 percent in pre-market trading after the software giant reported weaker than expected fiscal fourth quarter results but provided upbeat guidance.

Alphabet is also jumping by 3.7 percent in pre-market trading after reporting second quarter results that missed analyst estimates but were not as bad as some investors had feared.

Early trading activity may be somewhat subdued, however, as traders look ahead to the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy announcement this afternoon.

With the Fed widely expected to raise interest rates by another 75 basis points, traders are likely to keep a close eye on the accompanying statement and Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s post-meeting press conference for clues about the outlook for future rate hikes.

On the U.S. economic front, the Commerce Department released a report on Wednesday showing an unexpected surge in new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods in the month of June.

The Commerce Department said durable goods orders jumped by 1.9 percent in June after climbing by 0.8 percent in May. The continued increase surprised economists, who had expected durable goods orders to dip by 0.4 percent.

Excluding a spike in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders rose by 0.3 percent in June following a 0.5 percent increase in May. Economists had expected ex-transportation orders to edge up by 0.2 percent.

Not long after the start of trading, the National Association of Realtors is scheduled to release its report on pending home sales in the month of June. Pending home sales are expected to slump by 1.5 percent in June after climbing by 0.7 percent in May.

A pending home sale is one in which a contract was signed but not yet closed. Normally, it takes four to six weeks to close a contracted sale.

Following the mixed performance seen during Monday’s session, stocks moved sharply lower over the course of the trading day on Tuesday. The major averages all showed notable moves to the downside, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq showing a particularly steep drop.

The major averages climbed off their worst levels going into the close but remained firmly negative. While the Nasdaq tumbled 220.09 points or 1.9 percent to 11,562.57, the S&P 500 slumped 45.79 points or 1.2 percent to 3,921.05 and the Dow slid 228.50 points or 0.7 percent to 31,761.54.

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region turned in another mixed performance during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index edged up by 0.2 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index slumped by 1.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the major European markets have all moved to the upside on the day. While the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index has advanced by 0.7 percent, the German DAX Index and the French CAC 40 Index are both up by 0.5 percent.

In commodities trading, crude oil futures are climbing $0.89 to $95.87 a barrel after tumbling $1.72 to $94.98 a barrel on Tuesday. Meanwhile, an ounce of gold is trading at $1,717.10, down $0.60 compared to the previous session’s close of $1,717.70. On Tuesday, gold edged down $1.40.

On the currency front, the U.S. dollar is trading at 136.85 yen compared to the 136.91 yen it fetched at the close of New York trading on Tuesday. Against the euro, the dollar is trading at $1.0145 compared to yesterday’s $1.0117.

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