Stock futures rise slightly amid strong bank earnings, Goldman shares gain

U.S. stock futures edged up in early morning trading on Wednesday as investors digested the first batch of corporate earnings.

Dow Jones Industrial average futures implied 25-point gain at the open. S&P 500 futures were 0.1% higher and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 0.3%.

Shares of Goldman Sachs climbed 1.7% in premarket trading after the bank blew past analysts’ expectations with record first-quarter net profits and revenues on strong performance from the firm’s equities traders and investment bankers.

JPMorgan Chase, the first major bank to report first-quarter earnings, beat analysts’ estimates on top and bottom lines, helped by a $5.2 billion benefit from releasing money it had previously set aside for loan losses that didn’t develop. Shares of JPMorgan dipped 0.8% in premarket trading.

On Tuesday, the S&P 500 climbed 0.4% to close at a record high. Equities shrugged off the Food and Drug Administration’s request for states to pause administering Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine after six people in the U.S. developed a rare disorder involving blood clots. Moderna shares gained more than 7% on the news.

After the bell on Tuesday, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said the drugmaker can deliver 10% more vaccine doses to the U.S. by the end of May than previously expected. Plus, Moderna said its Covid-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective at protecting against the virus six months after a person’s second shot.

The technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite rallied more than 1% Tuesday, with Amazon, Apple, Alphabet, Netflix, Microsoft and Tesla all closing higher.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 68 points, after dropping more than 150 points earlier in the session.

The Labor Department’s consumer price index came in slightly hotter than expected on Tuesday. The CPI rose 0.6% from the previous month but 2.6% from the same period a year ago. Economists polled by Dow Jones projected the headline index to rise by 0.5% month-over-month and 2.5% year-over-year.

Investors are gearing up for the first wave of corporate earnings on Wednesday when JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo report before the bell. Bank stocks have risen sharply so far this year, with the KBW Bank Index easily outpacing the S&P 500. 

Analysts are expecting strong investment banking result. Plus, loan reserve releases could spark high earnings numbers.

Market participants will also be watching for the Coinbase direct listing on Wednesday. Crypto investors are hailing the company’s stock market debut as a major milestone for the industry after years of skepticism from Wall Street and regulators. The price of bitcoin surged to a fresh record high of more than $63,500 on Tuesday.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell will discuss the economic recovery from the pandemic at noon on Wednesday at The Economic Club of Washington.

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