U.S. equity futures rise; crude oil extends gain

(Feb 4): U.S. stock futures opened higher after a rally fizzled in the regular session with earnings continuing to roll in, while Asian equity contracts pointed to a muted start. Treasuries fell and crude oil extended its advance.

Futures dipped in Japan and Hong Kong, while Australian shares opened flat. S&P 500 contracts were up 0.3% after the gauge pared earlier gains to close barely in the green following its biggest two-day rally in almost three months, while the Nasdaq 100 finished lower. Google’s parent Alphabet Inc. hit a record on stellar results, while Amazon.com Inc. slumped.

Oil climbed as OPEC+ said it will keep pushing to quickly clear the surplus left behind by the pandemic. A widely watched segment of the Treasury yield curve reached its steepest level in almost five years. The dollar was little changed

After the close of regular trading, Qualcomm Inc. tumbled as the biggest maker of chips that connect smartphones to wireless networks reported disappointing sales. EBay Inc. climbed as profit topped Wall Street estimates while PayPal Holdings Inc. surged after forecasting strong revenue.

Investors are mulling scattered signs of a pickup in U.S. activity amid a push from President Joe Biden to win congressional passage of a US$1.9 trillion stimulus proposal. Data showed companies added more jobs than forecast in January, while growth at service providers accelerated. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said stock prices reflect optimism about the economic recovery.

“There has been a ton of noise in the stock market these past few weeks, so it’s encouraging to see solid economic reads,” said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E*Trade Financial Corp. “There may be signs of overextension when it comes to single stocks, but under the surface there is an economy regaining serious momentum.”

Elsewhere, GameStop Corp., the poster child for Redditors looking to squeeze short sellers, and movie-theater chain AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. rebounded following Tuesday’s plunge.

These are some key events coming up:

    The Bank of England sets rates on Thursday and an Indian central bank policy decision is due Friday.
    The U.S. January payrolls report is due Friday.

These are some of the main moves in markets:

    S&P 500 futures rose 0.3% as of 8:04 a.m. in Tokyo. The gauge advanced 0.1% on Wednesday.
    Futures on Japan’s Nikkei 225 slipped 0.1%.
    Hang Seng futures declined 0.2%.
    Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed.


    The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed.
    The euro bought US$1.2036.
    The yen was little changed at 105.03 per dollar.
    The offshore yuan was at 6.4579 per dollar.


    The yield on 10-year Treasuries rose four basis points to 1.14%.


    West Texas Intermediate crude increased 0.5% to US$55.97 a barrel.
    Gold was at US$1,834.52 an ounce.


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