(Reuters) – The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq indexes looked set to drop from record highs on Friday, as results from mega-cap firms Apple and Amazon.com reignited concerns of labor and supply shortages that have been at the forefront of this quarterly earnings season.
Market participants have been closely watching how corporate America navigates through these challenges along with concerns about rising inflation, after largely upbeat earnings reports so far helped investors look past a mixed batch of macro-economic data.
Apple slipped 3.7% in premarket trading after the iPhone maker warned the impact of supply chain disruptions will be even worse during the current holiday sales quarter.
Amazon.com Inc dropped 4.4% as it forecast downbeat holiday-quarter sales amid labor shortages.
“The reason Apple and Amazon is key to watch is only because of their weightage which will lead to some weakness in the Nasdaq but it is definitely not creating any huge cloud over the market regarding strong earnings,” said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management in Chicago.
Starbucks Corp fell 6.0% after the coffee chain expects fiscal 2022 operating margin to be below its long-term target, due to inflation and investments.
Data showed U.S. consumer spending increased solidly in September, but was partly flattered by higher prices as inflation remained hot.
The report came ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting next week, where it is expected to announce the start of its tapering of monthly bond purchases.
“The Fed has been pretty open about how they are going to go about tapering and rate hikes, but if they become more aggressive it could create issues for equities,” Nolte said.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden was dealt a setback on Thursday as the House of Representatives abandoned plans for a vote on an infrastructure bill with progressives seeking more time to consider his call for a separate $1.75 trillion plan for social initiatives.
“Some actual concrete progress on the U.S. spending bills instead of empty rhetoric could give a pleasant boost to markets in the end of the week,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific, OANDA.
At 8:50 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 73 points, or 0.2%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 25.25 points, or 0.55%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 143.25 points, or 0.91%.
For the week, S&P 500 has gained nearly 1.1%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq has risen 2.4%.
Analysts expect profits for S&P 500 companies to grow 38.6% year-on-year in the third quarter, up from an expected 29.4% rise at the start of the earnings season, according to data from Refinitiv.
Oil majors Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil rose about 1.6% each after posting strong quarterly profits on soaring oil and gas prices.
AbbVie Inc gained 2.7% as the U.S. drugmaker raised its 2021 adjusted profit forecast for the third time this year.
Caterpillar Inc added 1.2% after brokerages raised their price targets on the construction and mining equipment maker’s stock.
Western Digital Corp tumbled 12.2% after the storage hardware maker forecast downbeat second-quarter profit and revenue.
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