Futures Swoon at End of Record Week

Stock futures fell early Friday morning with the S&P 500 and NASDAQ Composite set to retreat from records, as investors reassessed the outlook for President Joe Biden’s ambitious COVID stimulus plan.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial toppled 248 points, or 0.8%, to 30,834.

Futures for the S&P 500 lost 29 points, or 0.8%, at 3,817.

Futures for the NASDAQ Composite dropped 85 points, or 0.6%, to 13,310.50.

The S&P 500 is up 2.3% for the week so far. The Dow is up 1.2% and the NASDAQ Composite is up 4%.

Shares of IBM fell more than 7% in pre-market trading after the company reported fourth-quarter sales below where analysts were expecting. Revenue fell 6% on an annualized basis, the fourth consecutive quarter of declines.

Intel shares retreated 4% following a 6% pop on Thursday after it released better-than-expected earnings just before the closing bell.

A growing number of Republicans have expressed doubts over the need for another stimulus bill, especially one with a price tag of $1.9 trillion proposed by Biden. Meanwhile, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin has criticized the size of the latest round of proposed stimulus checks.
Dissent from either party carries weight for Biden, who took office with a slim majority in Congress.

Tech companies, which largely don’t need a stimulus to spark growth, led the charge. Hopes for a robust earnings season from the country’s largest communications and tech stocks have kept the mega-cap stocks trending upward this week, and the major indexes near records, during the holiday-shortened week.

Apple has hiked 7.7% and Facebook has risen 8.6%, this week ahead of their quarterly results, while Microsoft has gained 5.8%.

With the S&P 500 up another 2% this year and up 16% over the last 12 months, some investors believe the market may be getting ahead of itself as hiccups with the vaccine rollout and economic reopening remained likely going forward.

Overseas, in Japan, the Nikkei 225 decreased 0.4%, while in Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index tumbled 1.6%.

Oil prices slumped $1.45 to $51.68 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices faltered $25.60 to $1,840.30 U.S.