Stocks pointed to a lower open on Wednesday, as a tightening in Middle East tensions was reflected in a jump in oil prices, and as tech results help earnings season hit its stride.
Caution prevailed in markets as Israel and Palestinian authorities traded blame for an explosion at a hospital in Gaza.
President Joe Biden landed in Israel on Wednesday, but Jordan cancelled a planned summit with Arab leaders after the Gaza blast. Biden’s comment that the “other team” was responsible dimmed hopes for a diplomatic solution and highlighted the risk of a full-blown regional conflict.
Oil prices moved up 3%, with gains stacking up after Iran’s foreign minister called for an embargo against Israel. Crude oil (CL=F) futures climbed to $89.00 a barrel, while Brent crude (BZ=F) traded at $92.15 a barrel at last check.
Rising fuel prices give investors another inflation factor to consider as they weigh the Federal Reserve’s next move in interest rates. The major US stock indexes closed mostly flat on Tuesday, after strong retail sales spurred expectations that the Fed will hike again this year.
In earnings, Procter & Gamble and Morgan Stanley will get third-quarter results rolling again with reports expected before the bell. Later, Tesla (TSLA) and Netflix (NFLX) lead out tech earnings, closely watched for any impact from “higher for longer” interest rates.
Morgan Stanley, P&G, and ASML: Stocks trending in premarket trading
Here are some of the stocks leading Yahoo Finance’s trending tickers page in premarket trading on Wednesday:
Morgan Stanley (MS): Shares fell by over 2% on Wednesday. Third-quarter profits dropped 9% from a year ago as revenue from investment banking and trading fell, as reported by Yahoo Finance’s David Hollerith.
ASML (ASML): Shares in ASML were down by 3%. The semiconductor equipment maker announced lower-than-expected orders on Wednesday.
Nvidia (NVDA): Shares dropped by over 1% after a more than 4% decline on Tuesday, after the US said it would tighten curbs on chip exports to China. However, the Biden administration’s new rules appeared to throw Nvidia, along with Intel (INTC) and AMD (AMD), a lifeline in the hope it would help preserve the US chipmaking business. It was also reported on Wednesday that Foxconn will build a new kind of data center using Nvidia chips and software.
Stock futures fall as Middle East crisis unsettles markets
Major US stock gauges were poised for a muted open Wednesday amid growing tensions in the Middle East, as investors waited for Netflix and Tesla to kick off tech earnings.