The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday was set to make a run at a fourth rise in as many sessions as investors awaited a second day of congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
Trading is poised to be somewhat subdued to start the day, with investors focusing on corporate earnings season which so thus far shaped up to be upbeat, with Morgan Stanley producing second-quarter results that were better than expected, boosting the investment bank’s stock.
What are markets doing?
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average YMU8, +0.00% was up 10 points, or less than 0.1%, at 25,115, if the blue-chip benchmark closes up a fifth day in a row in the green, it would mark its longest wining period since the eight-day period ended May 14, according to FactSet data.
Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index futures ESU8, -0.04% was little changed at 2,811. Futures for the Nasdaq-100 index NQU8, -0.12% dropped 7.75 points, or 0.1%, to 7,414.
The mostly muted trading action comes after gains on Tuesday, when the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.63% rose 0.6% for a record close, and the Dow DJIA, +0.22% and S&P 500 SPX, +0.40% added 0.2% and 0.4%, respectively.
What is driving the market?
Wall Street moves has been influenced by economic reports and earnings reports. So far, 88% of the 41 S&P 500 companies that have reported at this point have beaten profit forecasts, setting the tone for an positive season of quarterly results.
Morgan Stanley MS, +0.57% extended that trend, with the investment bank reporting second-quarter earnings and revenue that rose above expectations, boosted by outperformance in its sales and trading business. Net income rose to $2.27 billion, or $1.30 a share, from $1.59 billion, or 87 cents a share, in the same period a year ago.
Meanwhile, Alphabet Inc. GOOGL, +1.38% shares dropped 1.1% after reports the European Union’s competition body hit Google with its biggest-ever antitrust fine of $5 billion over Android apps, which could weigh on the broader technology sector.
On Tuesday, Wall Street investors keyed in on Powell’s appearance before the Senate Banking Committee, where he offered a sanguine outlook for the U.S. economy and indicated interest rates will continue to go up every three months “for now.” The central bank chief acknowledged that global trade wars and fiscal policy were areas of uncertainty that may give the central bank pause in its path toward normalizing rates. The statement appeared to provide some comfort for investors that the Fed would be cognizant of not disrupting the strength of the economy.
The Fed boss Powell will next deliver his semiannual testimony to the House Financial Services Committee at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. He’s expected to cover similar ground during testimony there.
What are strategists saying?
“Another bullish update, with Powell once again talking up the strength of the U.S. economy, could see the dollar extend its gains from Tuesday’s session,” said Jasper Lawler, head of research at London Capital Group, in a note.
What’s on the economic calendar?
Data on housing starts and building permits for June are due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern, followed by the Fed’s Beige Book at 2 p.m. Eastern.
Which stocks are in focus?
U.S.-listed shares of Ericsson ERIC, -0.13% jumped 9.7% ahead of the open after the Swedish telecom equipment maker said it swung to a an operating profit in the second quarter.
Shares of United Continental Holdings Inc. UAL, +0.50% were up 4.3% in premarket after the airline reported better-than-expected second-quarter earnings late Tuesday and lifted its profit projections.
Shares of Morgan Stanley were rising about 2.5% in premarket trade Wednesday after the company’s results.
Abbott Laboratories ABT, +1.65% are among the key earnings reports expected Wednesday before the bell.
After the market closes, American Express Co. AXP, +0.46% IBM Corp. IBM, -1.35% and eBay Inc. EBAY, +0.21% are slated to release results.
Target Corp. shares TGT, +0.08% rose 0.7% in Wednesday premarket trading after the retailer said it had the biggest day for online traffic and sales of 2018. Target hosted a one-day promotional event on July 17, overlapping with Amazon.com Inc.’s AMZN, +1.18% Prime Day event, which encountered technical snafus early in its sales period beginning on Monday. Shares of Amazon were up about 0.1% in premarket action.
Check out: IBM earnings: Security is growing fast, but is it enough money to matter?
What are other markets doing?
Asian stock markets closed mixed, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 index NIK, +0.43% ending 0.4% higher, but Chinese SHCOMP, -0.39% and Hong Kong markets HSI, -0.23% falling. European stocks were mostly higher.
Oil prices resumed their selloff, with West Texas Intermediate crude CLQ8, -0.71% down 0.9% at $67.50 a barrel. Gold GCQ8, -0.39% was also lower. The dollar as gauged by the ICE Dollar DXY, +0.41% a measure of six rival currencies, was up 0.4% at 95.3270.