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U.S. stock futures pointed to a stronger start on Thursday, helped by upbeat results from Facebook parent Meta Platforms and the aftermath of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s press conference.

What is happening
  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YM00,
    decreased by 45 points or 0.1%, reaching 34103.

  • S&P 500 Futures ES00,
    gained 20 points or 0.5% to 4152.

  • Nasdaq 100 futures NQ00,
    increased by 172.25 points or 1.4%, reaching 12587.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
rose 7 points, or 0.02%, to 34,093, the S&P 500 SPX;
rose 43 points, or 1.05%, to 4,119, while the Nasdaq Composite COMP,
gained 232 points, or 2%, to 11,816.

What is driving markets?

Meta Platforms META,
The S&P 500’s 14th-largest company saw its shares jump 19% in premarket trading as revenue beat estimates, guided by a slightly higher revenue range, and announced a $40 billion share buyback.

Meta results ahead of Alphabet GOOGL,
Apple AAPL,
and AMZN,
results will be available after the close of business on Thursday. All three advanced in premarket trading.

Markets also reacted positively to the Fed’s decision to raise interest rates by a quarter point. While the Federal Open Market Committee’s statement pointed to multiple rate hikes, investors cheered Powell’s insistence to MarketWatch’s Greg Robb that financial conditions haven’t changed much since the December meeting.

Since then, the Chicago Fed’s index of national financial conditions has weakened, and risk assets such as junk tech stocks and bitcoin have rallied. Powell also spoke about the early stage of the disinflation process. By Fundstrat’s Tom Lee’s count, he mentioned some variation of the word 13 times.

“This is a major change in language and tone, and shows that the Fed now officially recognizes the growing deflationary forces,” Lee said.

There are two foreign central bank decisions, from the Bank of England and the European Central Bank, each expected to raise interest rates by half a point. There are also weekly jobless claims and fourth quarter productivity numbers.



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