April 18, 2024

S&P 500 futures flat ahead of busy earnings week, Fed meeting: Live updates

S&P 500 futures were little changed on Sunday afternoon as investors awaited a batch of key earnings reports and a major policy decision from the Federal Reserve.

Futures linked to a broad market index ticked higher at 0.02%. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures was 14 points lower. Nasdaq 100 future rose 0.2%.

On Friday the blue-chip Black It gained 2.51 points, finishing higher for the 10th day in a row and marking its longest rally since 2017. S&P 500 the week ended up 0.7% at 4,536.34, and the Nasdaq Composite fell 0.6% in the same period to 14,032.81.

“Investor sentiment seems to be turning a bit bearish, so we won’t be surprised to see the market, trending flat or lower as investors consider selling some of their investments and pocketing some of the nice gains they’ve made this year,” said Noah Hamman, CEO of AdvisorShares.

Fundstrat’s Tom Lee agreed that profit-taking will be “part of the investor’s mindset,” especially for those with “stupendous” year-to-date returns from tech and FAANG stocks.

“That doesn’t mean when they take profits, they have to leave the market,” he told CNBC’s Closing: Overtime on Friday. “If the Fed surprises us in a way because it’s more of a dovish break, I think investors are going to look for ways to find stocks to raise on easing financial conditions,” he said. “They may not come back to the FAANG. They may stick to technology, but they may expand to industrials and financials. So, yes, to make a profit, but it doesn’t mean the market has to go down.”

Investors expect the Fed to raise rates by a quarter of a percentage point at the end of its meeting on Wednesday and will be listening to comments from Chairman Jerome Powell to get a sense of the central bank’s stance on what happens next as it tries to soften the blow for the economy.

They are also watching the personal consumption expenditure index, the Fed’s favorite gauge of inflation, which is due at the end of the week.

The week ahead is also set to be the busiest earnings season, with Thursday being the busiest day. About 40% of the Dow and 30% of the S&P 500 will give their financial updates throughout the week, including Alphabet, Microsoft and Meta. Several major pharmaceutical companies are preparing to report and it’s a big week for industrial companies and major oil companies as well.

—CNBC’s Robert Hum and Sarah Min contributed reporting.

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