US Stocks: Wall Street set for gains after upbeat BofA, J&J earnings

The CBOE Volatility index, also known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, slipped to 16.9, its lowest since January 2022.

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Advancing issues outnumbered decliners for a 6.06-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 3.47-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

U.S. stocks were poised to open higher on Tuesday as Bank of America and Johnson & Johnson reported upbeat results, boosting optimism about the earnings season amid concerns about a looming recession.

Shares of Bank of America Corp advanced 1.4% in premarket trading after its first-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimate as it collected hefty interest payments from customers.

Johnson & Johnson climbed 0.9% as the healthcare conglomerate raised its 2023 profit forecast and beat quarterly earnings estimates.

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Goldman Sachs Group Inc, however, dropped 3.5% after its quarterly profit fell 19%, hit by sluggish dealmaking and losses from the sale of some loans from its consumer unit, Marcus. Rival Morgan Stanley fell 0.8%.

Investor expectations were buoyed by strong results from big banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co last week in the backdrop of the recent banking turmoil sparked by the collapse of some mid-sized U.S. lenders.

“The key point is that the biggest banks benefited from the failures of the some of the mid-tier regional banks as of late. Plus they have multiple lines of business that can prop them up,” said Brandon Pizzurro, director of public investments at Guidestone Capital Management. “A lot of the market is being driven by that very top portion.”

Analysts have marginally brightened their outlook for first-quarter results. They expect quarterly profits at S&P 500 companies to decline 4.8% from the year-ago period, according to Refinitiv data on Friday, compared with a 5.2% decline forecast at the start of the earnings season.

The CBOE Volatility index, also known as Wall Street‘s fear gauge, slipped to 16.9, its lowest since January 2022.

The main Wall Street indexes have traded in a tight range since earnings season kicked off but remain close to two-month highs on expectations that the Fed is nearing the end of its monetary tightening cycle.

Mixed economic data recently has supported bets the Fed will hike interest rates by 25 basis points in May and hit pause before cutting rates in the second half of the year.

Data showed U.S. single-family homebuilding activity increased in March, while permits for future construction surged, suggesting that the worst of the housing market slump was likely behind.

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At 8:51 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 25 points, or 0.07%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 19.25 points, or 0.46%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 106.75 points, or 0.81%.

Nvidia Corp gained 2.8% after HSBC upgraded the chipmaker’s stock to “buy” from “reduce”, surprised by its pricing power on artificial intelligence (AI) chips.

Alibaba Group Holding climbed 2.2% after Reuters reported Chinese regulators could fine Ant Group about a quarter less than the more than $1 billion initially planned and downgrade charges against the company.

Lockheed Martin Corp rose 1.9% after quarterly results of the U.S. weapons maker’s surpassed Wall Street targets as simmering geopolitical tensions fueled demand from both domestic and international customers.

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First published on: 18-04-2023 at 19:11 IST