Glum Amazon earnings drag Nasdaq futures down 1% ahead of inflation data

(Reuters) – Nasdaq futures fell 1% on Friday after an underwhelming quarterly earnings report from Amazon.com, while investors looked to a key inflation report for cues on the pace of a domestic economic recovery.

FILE PHOTO: A Wall Street sign is pictured outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, October 28, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Amazon.com Inc tumbled 6.3% in premarket trading after the company said sales growth would slow in the next few quarters as customers ventured more outside the home.

Shares of other technology behemoths, including Netflix Inc, Google-parent Alphabet Inc, and Facebook Inc, which benefited last year from people staying indoors due to COVID-19 restrictions, fell between 0.6% and 1.2%.

Caterpillar Inc, on the other hand, was among the few gainers before the bell. The company posted a rise in second-quarter adjusted profit on the back of a recovery in global economic activity that has boosted demand for heavy machinery and construction equipment.

Hopes of a steady post-pandemic rebound in the U.S. economy have lifted Wall Street’s main indexes to record highs and put the benchmark S&P 500 on course for its sixth straight monthly gain, but the rapid spread of the Delta variant as well as rising inflation has kept sentiment in check.

Data on Thursday showed the economy recovered to pre-pandemic levels in the second quarter, but the pace of GDP growth was slower than expected. Meanwhile, a report cited the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as describing the Delta variant to be as contagious as Chickenpox.

After the Federal Reserve this week reiterated its view that higher inflation would be transient, focus on Friday will be on the June reading of the personal consumption expenditures price index — the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge.

At 6:54 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 74 points, or 0.21%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 25.5 points, or 0.58%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 148.5 points, or 0.99%.

Pinterest Inc sank 20.9% after saying U.S. user growth was decelerating as people who used the platform for crafts and DIY projects during the height of the pandemic were stepping out more.

Chevron Corp rose 2% as it reported its highest profit in six quarters and joined an oil industry stampede to reward investors with share buybacks.

Overall, second-quarter results have come in from about half of the S&P 500 companies, of which nearly 91% have beaten profit estimates, according to Refinitiv data.

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