Stock futures fall slightly after big Fed rally, Meta shares decline

Traders react on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as a screen shows Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell during a news conference following a Fed rate announcement, in New York City, July 27, 2022.

Brendan Mcdermid | Reuters

Stock futures slipped in overnight trading in the wake of another 0.75 percentage point hike from the Federal Reserve as it attempts to quell rapid inflation.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 20 points, or 0.06%. S&P 500 futures lost 0.13% and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 0.36%.

Shares of Meta Platforms dipped 3% in extended trading on the back of disappointing quarterly results while Ford gained more than 5% after a beat on the top and bottom lines, and as it raised its dividend. Teladoc’s stock cratered more than 22% after taking another large goodwill charge.

The after-hours moves came after markets saw a broad-based rally during regular trading on Wednesday as the central bank hiked rates by another 75 basis points and investors continued to bet on whether the Fed can halt surging prices without pushing the economy into a recession.

All S&P 500 sectors ended the day higher, with communications services posting its best daily performance since April 2020.

During Wednesday’s regular trading session, the Dow gained 436.05 points, or 1.4%, the S&P 500 added 2.62% and the Nasdaq Composite closed 4.06% higher, boosted by shares of Alphabet and Microsoft.

“For the most part, what’s really driving this move is that the economy is still performing okay and it looks like the Fed is probably going to slow the pace of tightening down by the next policy meeting,” said Ed Moya, Oanda’s senior market analyst.

Investors have grown increasingly concerned in recent months that the central bank’s attempts to tame surging prices would move the economy closer to a recession, if it hasn’t already entered one.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday said during a press conference he does not believe the economy has entered a recession.

“I do not think the U.S. is currently in a recession and the reason is there are too many areas of the economy that are performing too well,” he said.

Investors looking for further clues into the state of the economy are awaiting a reading on second-quarter GDP slated for Thursday. While two back-to-back negative quarters of growth is viewed by many as a recession, the official definition is more nuanced, taking into account additional factors, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expect the economy to have barely expanded last quarter after contracting 1.6% in the first.

On the earnings front, investors are looking ahead to results from Apple, Amazon, Intel and Comcast slated for Thursday.

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