By Peter Nurse
Investing.com — U.S. stocks are seen opening lower Friday, with weak guidance from e-commerce giant Amazon further pressuring the tech sector ahead of the release of key inflation data.
At 07:00 ET (11:00 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 20 points or 0.1%, S&P 500 Futures traded 20 points or 0.5% lower, and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 110 points or 1%.
The main U.S. equity indices diverged Thursday, as the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed almost 200 points or 0.6% higher, while the broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.6%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite slumped 1.6%, hit by weak numbers from Meta Platforms (NASDAQ:META), the owner of Facebook.
Tech companies are contending with a downturn in digital advertising and demand for products ranging from personal computers to cloud services after a huge pandemic surge.
The weak forecasts from the Big Tech giants have also fanned concerns that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes were finally slowing the economy and by extension corporate earnings.
Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), widely seen as a bellwether for the global e-commerce industry, continued the theme late Thursday, forecasting a slowdown in sales growth for the holiday season, warning that inflation-wary consumers and businesses had less money to spend. Its stock slumped 13% premarket.
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) also cautioned revenue growth could see some pressure in the fourth quarter, but the iPhone maker still reported revenue and profit that topped expectations, helping its stock rise 1% premarket.
Friday is relatively quiet in terms of quarterly earnings, but oil giants Chevron (NYSE:CVX) and Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) are set to benefit from the high crude prices, while results from AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) and Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) are also due before the open.
Elsewhere, investors will carefully study the release of the Personal Consumption Expenditures Index, the Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation measure, later in the session.
The U.S. central bank is widely expected to hike interest rates by another 75 basis points next week, and investors will be looking to see if the core PCE index suggests a weakening of inflationary pressures which could point to Fed policymakers becoming less aggressive at December’s policy meeting.
Oil prices fell Friday, weighed by China, the world’s largest crude importer, imposing fresh COVID lockdowns in a number of cities as infections start to rise again, maintaining the country’s COVID Zero policy.
China reported 1,506 new COVID-19 infections on Oct. 27, the National Health Commission said on Friday, up from 1,264 new cases a day earlier.
However, despite these losses, the market is heading for a weekly gain, …….