On Wednesday, stock futures were hovering near record highs as investors awaited a flood of better-than-expected quarterly reports from highly watched technology companies.
Before the opening bell, contracts on the S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq all traded slightly higher. The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell, but it stayed near its highest level since 2014. Treasury yields fell throughout the curve, with the benchmark 10-year yield dropping below 1.6 percent.
Even after reporting third-quarter revenues and profitability that beat expectations, Google's parent firm Alphabet (GOOG, GOOGL) slid lower, pushed by continued growth in online advertising spending, particularly among retailers on Google Search. However, revenue growth for YouTube and Google Cloud decreased compared to the previous quarter. Microsoft (MSFT) reported quarterly earnings that outperformed expectations in nearly every major indicator, boosted by a new jump in the company's widely watched cloud computing business division.
Aside from the mega-cap technology giants, a lot of other businesses reported strong earnings. Twitter (TWTR) stock rose in late trading after the company reported third-quarter sales that were roughly in line with expectations, despite Wall Street expecting the company to suffer similar negative effects from Apple's iOS privacy update as peer social media company Snap (SNAP) did in the same quarter.
In addition, chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) reported quarterly earnings that beat expectations and raised its full-year outlook. During AMD's earnings call, CEO Lisa Su stated that supply chain bottlenecks were limiting the company's ability to meet the demand for PC and video-game console chips, but that she believed the present supply-side issues will ease next year.
Many companies have been able to work through mounting price pressures to continue providing sales and profits that exceed expectations, according to the most recent batch of earnings data. Though many analysts have predicted that inflationary pressures and supply chain disruptions will endure longer than expected, few have predicted that the consequences will be insurmountable for most significant corporations.
"These supply chain concerns have resulted in a short-term earnings crisis. I believe that is something we should keep an eye on in the first half of the year "RBC Capital Markets' senior equity strategist Lori Calvasina told Yahoo Finance on Tuesday. "In the first two quarters of next year, earnings growth is expected to be barely 4% to 6%. As a result, enterprises must continue to manage through in order for the market to continue to rise."
"However, the reality is that the underlying economic background is far from static," she continued. "I honestly don't believe in the stagflation theory at all."
On the demand side, despite rising prices, American consumers have shown little sign of cutting back on their spending. Even as short-term inflation predictions soared to a 13-year high, the percentage of consumers planning to purchase homes, autos, and major appliances jumped this month, according to the Conference Board.
"The consumer has a lot of money right now, so they don't mind if they raise prices on us - and that's the story right now," said Ryan Payne, head of Payne Capital Management, on Yahoo Finance Live on Tuesday. "That is why profits are increasing. Because we have a lot of money, you've got an extremely price-averse customer. Wages are rising. And businesses can effectively raise their pricing when their costs rise. And that's why we're in this Goldilocks economy right now, which is another reason why the stock market will continue to rise."
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