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Market Snapshot: U.S. stock futures consolidate after lurching toward new record high

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U.S. stock futures took a step back Thursday, consolidating after a rally from last month’s lows that has brought indexes to a whisker of their record highs.

What’s happening
  • Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average
    YM00,
    -0.27%

    fell 105 points, or 0.3%, to 35372
  • Futures on the S&P 500
    ES00,
    -0.23%

    lost 0.3%, or 12 points, to 4516
  • Futures on the Nasdaq 100
    NQ00,
    -0.15%

    fell 0.2%, or 34 points, to 15344

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average
DJIA,
+0.43%

rose 152 points, or 0.43%, to 35609, the S&P 500
SPX,
+0.37%

increased 17 points, or 0.37%, to 4536, while the Nasdaq Composite
COMP,
-0.05%

dropped 7 points, or 0.05%, to 15122. The S&P 500 finished just 0.02% from its record close.

What’s driving markets

A solid start to third-quarter earnings season has helped investors put the nervousness of September behind them, even as concerns over inflation, COVID-19 and China’s economy still linger.

“It’s an impressive turnaround from where the narrative was just a few weeks ago, when the index had fallen by over -5% from its peak as concerns from Evergrande to a debt ceiling crunch set the agenda. But the removal of both risks from the immediate horizon along with another round of positive earnings reports have swept away those anxieties,” said Deutsche Bank strategists led by Jim Reid.

Evergrande
3333,
-12.54%

was back in the headlines on Thursday after the property developer ended talks to sell most of its property services division.

On the earnings front, International Business Machines
IBM,
-0.06%

missed revenue estimates, and Tesla
TSLA,
+0.18%

offered a cautious outlook after beating third-quarter earnings expectations. Results from American Airlines
AAL,
-0.05%
,
Southwest Airlines
LUV,
+0.18%
,
and after the close, Intel
INTC,
+0.29%
,
are due.

Some Federal Reserve officials in recent days, including Fed Governors Christopher Waller and Randal Quarles, and Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, appear to be laying the groundwork for interest-rate hikes next year if high inflation persists.

Thursday will see a number of economic releases, on jobless claims, Philadelphia-area manufacturing, existing home sales and leading indicators.

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