Wall St eyes higher open as Big Tech earnings take center stage

(Reuters) – U.S. stock indexes were set to open higher on Monday as investors geared up for earnings reports from heavyweight technology companies this week, while PayPal jumped after saying it was not interested in buying Pinterest.

FILE PHOTO: A Specialist trader works inside a booth on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 20, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

PayPal Inc rose 4.6% after the payments company scrapped its plans to buy the digital pinboard site Pinterest Inc for as much as $45 billion. Shares of Pinterest plunged 14.8%.

Tesla Inc, up 3.8% in premarket trading, was set for record open after car rental firm Hertz placed an order for 100,000 Tesla cars, while Morgan Stanley boosted its price target on the electric-car maker’s stock.

Facebook Inc will kick off quarterly results for mega-cap technology giants after markets close on Monday, with investors fearing its ad revenue could face the brunt of Apple’s iPhone privacy changes that have also hit Snap Inc’s third-quarter revenue.

“After Snap got an Apple caught in its throat, markets will have an itchy trigger finger over the sell button if the social network says the same,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA.

Microsoft, Apple, Alphabet and Amazon.com Inc are all set to report their results later this week.

Shares of the companies, which collectively account for over 22% of the weighting in the S&P 500, were mixed in trading before the bell.

Strong earnings updates from some companies lifted the benchmark index to an intra-day record high on Friday, driving a 5.5% gain so far in October after a stumble in September.

Investors are also assessing how companies are mitigating supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortages and inflationary pressures to sustain growth.

Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to grow 34.8% year-on-year for the third quarter, according to data from Refinitiv.

“We are seeing strong confidence with upward revisions to quarterly earnings estimates,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist, CFRA Research.

“The market has regained its old highs and old highs are like rusty doors that require several attempts to swing it open, so it is going to take more sideways trading days before markets take off again.”

On the economic data front, readings on U.S. third-quarter GDP – the Federal Reserve’s favored inflation gauge, the core PCE price index and consumer confidence data will be released later this week.

At 08:32 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 40 points, or 0.11%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 7.25 points, or 0.16%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 36.25 points, or 0.24%.

Oil firms including Chevron Corp and Exxon Mobil rose about 0.5% each, tracking Brent crude prices to three-year high. [O/R]

Shares of major Wall Street lenders also edged higher.

Carnival Corp slipped 1.3% after Citigroup downgraded the cruise operator’s stock to “neutral” from “buy”.

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