U.S. stock index futures fell on Thursday after JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley kicked off the earnings season with downbeat results, adding to worries of a potential recession.
Shares of JPMorgan were 3.3% lower in premarket trading after it reported a fall in second-quarter profit, hit by higher provisions to cover potential losses.
Jamie Dimon, chief executive of the largest U.S. bank, flagged a number of concerns including geopolitical tension, high inflation and the “never-before-seen” quantitative tightening as threats to global economic growth.
“As far as the things that you do not want to see, you have got pretty much every one of them, missing top and bottom line, cutting the buybacks and increasing credit reserves are all things consistent with battening down the hatches for a recession versus a short-term blip in demand in the first half,” said Thomas Hayes, managing member at Great Hill Capital Llc in New York.
“The market does not like it and rightfully so.”
Morgan Stanley fell 2.6% after reporting a drop in quarterly profit as dealmaking slumped amid soaring market volatility.
Shares of other banks Wells Fargo & Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Citigroup fell between 1.8% and 2.3%.
Recession fears have roiled financial markets this year as central banks across the world move to aggressively raise borrowing costs to curb sky-high inflation, pushing Wall Street to its worst first-half performance in decades.
As of last Friday, analysts saw aggregate annual S&P earnings growth of 5.7% for the April-to-June period, down from the 6.8% forecast at the beginning of the quarter, according to Refinitiv.
“We expect much of the upcoming reporting season to represent an earnings ‘confession’ period for chief executive officers as guidance to analysts will likely be adjusted noticeably to the downside,” Wells Fargo’s senior global market strategist Scott Wren wrote in a note.
After a robust jobs report last week cemented the case for a 75-basis-point rate hike in July, investors were rattled by hotter-than-expected consumer prices data on Wednesday that pushed traders to bet on an ever bigger full percentage point interest rate hike later this month.
Investors will now be watching the Labor Department’s report on the producer prices index for final demand, which is expected to show a 10.7% rise in the twelve months through June after an increase of 10.8% in May.
The report is due at 8:30 am ET (1230 GMT).
At 7:06 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 416 points, or 1.35%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 48.5 points, or 1.27%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 103.5 points, or 0.88%.