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Futures fall as megacaps slide on downbeat earnings

2023-02-03T10:20:14Z

A trader works on the trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., January 27, 2023. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

U.S. stock index futures dropped on Friday after disappointing results from megacap growth companies including Apple and Amazon, while investors awaited the January jobs report for more clues on future rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Shares of Wall Street heavyweights Apple (AAPL.O), Amazon Inc (AMZN.O) and Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) declined between 3.5% and 6% in premarket trading.

Apple forecast another revenue decline at the start of the year, Amazon warned that its operating profit could fall to zero in the current quarter, and Google parent Alphabet missed Wall Street estimates for fourth-quarter results.

The results looked set to snap the rally in U.S. equities in the previous session after Fed Chair Jerome Powell in his remarks after the Wednesday policy meeting referred repeatedly to the “disinflationary” process being underway.

Both the Nasdaq (.IXIC) and the S&P 500 (.SPX) posted strong gains on Thursday and touched near five-month highs, while the Dow (.DJI) slipped, dragged down by declines in some big healthcare stocks.

Investors will closely monitor Labor Department’s numbers for January nonfarm payrolls, due at 8:30 a.m. ET. The economy is expected to have added 185,000 jobs, fewer than the 223,000 additions in December. The unemployment rate is expected to tick higher to 3.6% in January, from 3.5% in December.

The unemployment rate is expected to tick higher to 3.6% in Janaury, from 3.5% in December.

U.S. stocks made a strong start in 2023 after a dismal 2022, with battered technology and related stocks leading the rebound on hopes that the Fed will temper its aggressive rate hikes, in turn alleviating some pressure on equity valuations.

At 4:40 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 81 points, or 0.24%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 29.25 points, or 0.7%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 181.5 points, or 1.41%.